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Labor floats 'startup loans' for youngsters

What could possibly go wrong?

Perhaps to counter the rapturous reception the tech sector has given new prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, Australia's opposition has floated the idea of government loans for youngsters with a startup idea.

Pitched by way of a drop to the Sydney Morning Herald, Labor leader Bill Shorten reckons his thought bubble will encourage a "risk-taking culture" among university graduates, and improve the commercialisation of university research.

The loan scheme would add the option of a business-focused start-up year to the end of a university degree. Final year students and recent graduates will be able to create their own companies and develop ideas into fledgling businesses.

Under the plan up to 2,000 students will be funded and be eligible for loans of a snip over AU$10,000 during the year. The students will be able to do this either through accredited university programes or at off-campus facilities. Students on the programe will also get mentoring and professional development.

Labor says the plan will cost taxpayers A$5.5 million.

The loans would be similar to the existing HECS (Higher Education Contributions Scheme) scheme. Under HECS students can graduate with a debt that is repaid through the tax system when they reach a set income level, currently A$54,000.

+Comment Vulture South isn't sure that $10k will go far, but perhaps our erstwhile readers can correct us on this point, and you'd need a really high success rate out of 2,000 pick-the-winner lotteries to make a dent in the economy. ®

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