Education Costs Soaring More Than Most Necessary Bills

Adding to cost-of-living pressures

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The cost of education has risen faster than most common household bills, latest monitoring by the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal.

Analysis of the consumer price index shows education feeds have skyrocketed in the last 20 years to occupy three of the top 10 fastest-growing expenses monitored by the ABS.

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Secondary education costs have risen 185 per cent since 2003, with only tobacco (507 per cent), gas and other household fuels (235 per cent) and medical and hospital services (210 per cent) the only other costs tracked by the ABS to have increased more.

Preschool and primary education was ranked eighth out of the 87 expenses tracked, with a 135 per cent rise, and tertiary education rounded off the top 10 with a 121 per cent rise.

Education Lead at Impact Economics, Julie Sonnemann, told The Sydney Morning Herald rising education costs added to surging cost-of-living pressures for families.

“Very high school fees are not good for Australia. They act as a barrier to families who can’t afford them, creating more of a divide between the haves and have-nots,” she said.

“School should be a place where students mix with children from a diverse range of backgrounds; it’s important for their own personal development and for building a cohesive and tolerant society in future.

“I worry Australia is moving very far in the opposite direction.”

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Tricia Mifsud

15 May 2023

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Tricia Mifsud

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