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Maharey Channels Loan Money To Student Politicians

Despite Steve Maharey's so-called clampdown, student loans are still being used to provide millions of dollars to fund non-academic political student associations and pay the wages of activists and fulltime student politicians, Student Choice spokesman Clint Heine said today.

"Last month Steve Maharey said compulsory fees should only contain costs without which students would be unable to complete the mandatory academic requirements of the course. Membership of a political group has nothing to do with completing an academic course, but Maharey is saying that student association fees are as important as tuition fees," Mr Heine said.

"Student associations do not provide academic services. They are political incorporated societies with legal identities entirely separate from tertiary institutions. Why should millions of dollars of taxpayer money be used to deliver income to these groups?" Mr Heine asked.

"Maharey is happy for loans to pay student association fees for a purely political reason. He knows that most student associations give political support to Labour, the Alliance and the Greens. This is simply another case of the government doing favours for their mates," Mr Heine said.

"If some private tertiary providers are to be put under scrutiny over loans, then questions should also be asked about why the loan scheme is being used as a slush fund for student politicians," Mr Heine said.

"This issue also highlights the bigger question of why students are denied the right to freedom of association by being forced to join a political organisation before they can enroll in a tertiary institution," Mr Heine said.


For more information contact:

Clint Heine
Spokesman Student Choice
021 122 8544

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