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Disregard for process on export education levy

Disregard for process on export education levy

“Today’s announcement by the Government of its plans for the export education levy seems to presume the outcome of the select committee process”, said Patrick Ibbertson, chairperson of the Association of Private Providers of English Language (APPEL).

The Government has announced that there will be one rate for private training establishments (PTEs) and a lower rate for all other export education providers paying the export education levy. The levy started last year and, unlike all other export levies, is levied and spent on the basis of Ministers’ decisions.

“Submissions to the Education and Science Committee on the Export Education Levy (Amendment) Bill closed just last Friday, but already the Government is assuming that it will be passed. The Bill would allow the Government to charge PTEs for the failures of their competitors.”

“APPEL opposes this new levy because the Government controls entry to the industry, as only registered PTEs can enrol overseas students, so why should the industry pay if the Government’s quality assurance systems don’t work? The legal profession can control the entry and exit of lawyers but PTEs now face a considerable contingent liability over which they have no control.”

“This Bill has been put into the House against the views of Education New Zealand and the export education industry and now the Government pre-empts the consultation process by speaking as if the legislation is already passed.”

“Additionally, while the Government refers to taxpayer funds being used to pay refunds to students, export education levy money has been used all along. APPEL has argued that this was an illegal use of levy money and that view has been backed up by the Minister’s emergency, retrospective legislation. It seems that now the Government is trying to fix up its inappropriate use of levy funds by making the honest pay for the actions of the dishonest.”

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