Let Them Eat Cake!
Student leaders are presenting current and former tertiary ministers with birthday cakes today to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the student loan scheme. Cakes will be presented to former ministers Lockwood Smith, Wyatt Creech, Max Bradford and current minister Steve Maharey by New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) Co-Presidents Charlie Chambers and Andrew Campbell.
“2002 marks two inauspicious milestones for the student loan scheme. Total student debt has reached 5 billion dollars and the unpopular scheme has turned ten years old”, said Andrew Campbell.
“We are presenting cakes to the ministers to remind them of the role they played in creating one of the harshest and most inequitable student loan systems in the world that has burdened a generation of New Zealanders with a life long debt sentence”, said Charlie Chambers.
“The members of generation debt have received crumbs off the governments funding plate. Over the past decade, we have seen more and more students depend on student loans as access to allowances have been reduced and fees climb skyward”, said Chambers.
“As students are starting back into studies their worries about debt are also kicking in for the year. Student debt was $3 billion when the current government was elected, and is now projected to reach $20 billion by 2020. Action needs to be taken now to avoid that situation at all costs”, said Andrew Campbell.
“The Government must realise that $5 billion dollars of debt is simply not good for New Zealand. How can we expect to attain a knowledge society when the debt wave is swamping our future leaders? The government must respond in a meaningful manner to these concerns, as this issue will be at the forefront of the minds of students and their families when the time comes to vote. We really don’t want an eleventh birthday,” said Charlie Chambers.