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The Taxation (Budget Measures) Bill was introduced under urgency on 24 May 2012. On 25 May 2012, at the Committee of the Whole House stage, the Bill was split by Supplementary Order Paper No 31 into two amending acts: the Student Loan Scheme (Budget Measures) Amendment Act 2012 and the Taxation (Budget Measures) Act 2012. The resulting legislation was enacted on 29 May 2012.
The Student Loan Scheme (Budget Measures) Act 2012 repealed the 10% student loan voluntary repayment bonus.
The objective of the bonus scheme was to encourage faster repayments by borrowers who were slow to repay their student loan and, as a consequence, to reduce the costs to the Government of the Student Loan Scheme. The voluntary repayment bonus took effect from 1 April 2009 and gave borrowers a 10% bonus for any repayments of $500 or more over and above the borrower's repayment obligations.
The voluntary repayment bonus is not fulfilling its policy intent of encouraging faster repayments from those slow to repay and the level of savings from the voluntary repayment bonus is lower than originally estimated. The take-up of the policy has largely been by individuals who were already paying back their loans quickly.