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Higher Uni costs for Australian Permanent Residents

From January 1 2018 most permanent residents & New Zealanders will no longer be eligible for subsidised places at University, meaning they will pay about three or four times more for their degrees, on average.

To compensate, the government will now allow those groups to access the Higher Education Loan Program, meaning they can defer their fees and pay back the loan once they start earning regular income.

Universities, researchers and even New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English reacted negatively to the plan, with Mr English bluntly warning Canberra on Tuesday: “We’re pretty unhappy about it.”

But Education Minister Simon Birmingham argued the changes will encourage about 60,000 new students to study in Australia because they will no longer have to pay fees upfront.

“Access to student loans could attract some new students for whom upfront payment was a disincentive to study, leading to an estimated 60,000 additional [full-time students],” the government contended in a policy paper.

It did not stipulate the time period for the 60,000 extra students, nor how the number was modelled, and the minister’s office did not answer questions before deadline on Tuesday.

Recent visa changes also mean permanent residents must wait four years to become an Australian citizen, meaning they could be liable for full fees for the duration of their degree.

About 20,000 permanent residents and NZ citizens are currently enrolled in Australian universities, according to government estimates. They will be unaffected by the changes, which apply to people beginning their courses after January 1 next year.

Representatives from the tertiary sector attended urgent briefings on Tuesday and reserved judgment about the changes, although one observer noted “a few wry smiles” when government representatives suggested a potential deluge of New Zealanders.

Henry Sherrell, researcher at the Crawford School of Public Policy, was sceptical that potential students would flock to Australia the way the government anticipated.

While students did not typically react to big movements in degree fees, “that is not the case when you have very specific settings for certain groups of people”, he said.

Higher prices “will be a disincentive, even if it is an income-contingent loan, even if it does go through HECS,” Mr Sherrell said.

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Tranferring money from UK to Australia

australiandollar-britishpound

For people in the UK who are moving to Australia, there’s been some good news over the last month or so with the British Pound strengthening against the Australian Dollar. The GBP has risen around 7 cents over the past month.

Last week, the Reserve Bank of Australia lowered the official cash rate to 2.75%, whilst today there is flat trade on the local share market.

The All Ordinaries Index was down two points to 5,189, and the ASX 200 was three points lower at 5,203.

Weakness among mining stocks limited gains on the market this morning.

A drop in spot gold prices was hurting the gold and copper miner Oz Minerals. Its share price had fallen almost 5 per cent.

Fortescue Metals was down 2.3 per cent and BHP Billiton was 1 per cent lower.

The major department store retailers were out of favour.

David Jones was down 1.6 per cent and Myer was 1.2 per cent lower.

Commonwealth Bank shares were up 1 per cent, NAB was up 1.7 per cent and ANZ had added almost three-quarters of a per cent.

Westpac, which is trading ex-dividend today, was down more than 3 per cent.

The Australian Dollar could weaken further with the RBA tipped to make one further rate cut over the next few months.

 

International Money Transfers made easy

Using an international money transfer company can ensure you receive the best exchange rate. John Kinghorn from Moneycorp explains more.

moneycorpIf you are sending money to or from Australia, there are some useful tips below to ensure you are getting the most for your money.

Exchange rate

The exchange rate you are offered by a bank is likely to be wildly different compared with that from a foreign exchange specialist company. A specialist company, such as Moneycorp, can offer better rates of exchange than a bank by typically up to 3-4% – that equals a saving of £30-£40 on a money transfer of £1,000.

Expert guidance

Exchange rates are continuously moving. This factor is critical, as due to the rate fluctuations, this will affect the amount of foreign currency which ends up in your overseas bank account.

Your bank will generally offer little or no guidance when transferring your money overseas. Conversely, a specialist money transfer company provides free, expert guidance helping you to take advantage when exchange rates are in your favour.

Fees and charges

High street banks typically charge between £20-40 per money transfer, so if you are making regular overseas payments like paying for a mortgage abroad, you could be paying up to £480 a year on fees alone. By using a foreign exchange specialist company you would typically make a huge saving on these fees alone.

Moneycorp run a special offer for Poms in Oz members where transfer fees are waived on all transactions – click here to find out more.

Whether you’re making regular international payments, or simply need to make a one-off money transfer, the exchange rates you get and the transfer fees you pay can make a big difference to the amount of money you will end up with.

Register for free with Moneycorp by clicking here

For more information visit: http://moneytransfer.pomsinoz.com/

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Tips for transferring money to Australia

If you are sending money to or from Australia, getting the best value for your money is important. As a specialist foreign exchange provider, we hope the tips below will help when transferring your money overseas.

Banks vs. currency specialists
A currency specialist company will typically offer a better rate of exchange than the banks. By using a specialist, you can also save money on other fees and charges imposed by overseas banks.

Expert market guidance
Take advantage of the expert guidance by using a specialist currency transfer company. You will receive the services of a personal dealer, who will understand your requirements and offer free guidance on the Aussie dollar. Your dealer has the tools at their disposal to help you transfer your money when exchange rates are in your favour and this is where you can save significant amounts of money.
Don’t leave it until the last minute, planning is crucial!
The exchange rate is moving all the time, therefore timing is hugely important. It is recommended you register with a specialist company well in advance if you are moving overseas. This will allow you to receive updates so you will be made aware of any movements in the exchange rate. That way you will have more opportunity to secure the best exchange rate possible.

Different ways to buy your currency
There are various ways you can buy or sell your Australian dollars. For example, with the assistance of a personal dealer, market orders can be utilised – this is setting a target exchange rate and if these levels are reached your currency is automatically bought – you can also set a minimum level ensuring you don’t lose out if the exchange rate moves against you.

Regular payments to Australia
For frequent payments, and typically for smaller amounts, you can set up automated payments which are settled by Direct Debit from your UK bank account – therefore, you can relax in the knowledge that your transfers are taken care of.

Make sure you use a secure provider
It is vital you use a trusted provider with a proven track record. Some currency specialists are now authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) for the provision of payment services. You should also take into account how long a company has been operating for and the number of customers they assist each year.

PomsInOz & Moneycorp
Hundreds of Poms in Oz members have benefited from using Moneycorp for their international money transfers. Exclusively for PomsInOz members, you will not pay any transfer fees when sending your money overseas. Register with Moneycorp by clicking here.
To speak with them directly, call +44 (0)20 7589 3000, please remember to quote PomsInOz.

Website: http://moneytransfer.pomsinoz.com/

Article by John @ Moneycorp