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Fightback To Challenge Steve Maharey Today



Members of Fightback Waikato are preparing to roast the Minister for Education, Steve Mahery, at this weeks Cultural Hour on the University of Waikato Campus. Under the banner "Student Debt- Hard Labour", Fightback will challenge the Labour Party's commitment to students and young workers, who are saddled with debts from loans and fees that have recently passed the $4 billion mark.

Fightback activist Joe Carolan- "The abolition of free education by Labour and National politicians affects not only students presently on campus, but hundreds of thousands of young people in the workforce who are saddled with debts averaging thirty to forty thousand dollars, on completion of their degree. The majority of Labour MPs benifitted from Free Education personally, and individuals like Steve Mahery did not have to start their working lives with huge debts like this. Fightback find it hypocritical that politicians lecture this generation of students that free education is "unrealistic", when they themselves availed of its provision before breaking the inter generational bond.

Labour is not only failing to solve student poverty and debt- it is also condemning young workers to a lifetime of hefty wage deductions by the banks. Token moves like capping interest on loans whilst people are studying do not address the core issues, and Labour know it. We will make our feelings clear to Mr Mahery when he comes to lecture us on "realism" this Wednesday. Hard neck from Hard Labour.

We tell him Free Education is realistic. Ireland has it. Germany has it. He himself had it when he was at college. The Labour Party must abolish student fees and loans, bring in a Universal Student Living Allowance and cancel the debts to the banks. They should repair the damage done by the last 16 years of free market extremism, and tax the corporations and the rich who have benifitted from huge tax breaks in direct proportion to the deterioration of our public services. Otherwise, they have no right to call themselves the party of workers, and definetly never again the party of students."


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