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Beware - Interest Free Loans Not All They Seem

MEDIA RELEASE

7 JANUARY 2000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

STUDENTS BEWARE - INTEREST FREE LOANS NOT ALL THEY SEEM

Students are set to miss out on relief from interest while studying under confusing new rules released by WINZ in conjunction with other Ministries.

Information received today by the APSU Student Union indicates that not all students will qualify for an interest write off if they choose to take a Student Loan and that even those that do qualify will be made to "jump through hoops".

"The way this Cabinet Decision has been presented to the public appears to be a tad misleading," said President David Penney. "What we have heard in statements from the Minister is that all full-time and low income students will not be charged interest on their loans. Reality is they will be charged interest and will then have to plead a case to the Inland Revenue Department to have that interest written off."

"We predict that large numbers of students will not grasp the complexities of this system and will therefore fail to claim the relief that is due to them. We are also aware that the IRD has a culture that does not always assist people in claiming back all they are due."

"Potentially a students could miss out on thousands of dollars of write-offs if they do not apply to the IRD."

The APSU Student Union is hoping the government will be able to amend the system so those eligible for relief are immediately identified and the interest is not applied in the first place.

"Interest free student loans was a core election promise from the Labour Party and in my opinion if one student misses out on the assistance they are entitled to due to a Government administrative system, Labour will have difficulty keeping their word," said Mr. Penney.

For more information contact: David Penney President APSU Student Union Phone 04 498-2501 Mobile 025 756-526

John Barkess Ex-president Aotearoa Post-compulsory Students Union john.apsu@students.org.nz

Ph (04) 4982501 025 756 526 Fax (04) 4996554 PO Box 10-191 WELLINGTON


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