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Labour Abandons Education Promise

Otago Polytechnic Students' Assoc.
Media Release

for immediate release

10 May 2005
Attn: Education and Political Reporters

Labour Abandons Education Promise

Labour has today abandoned its election promise to make tertiary education more affordable. The Government has called for expressions of interest from groups interested in providing a tertiary education savings scheme.

"This is clear proof that Labour does not plan to return to free or even affordable education" said Rachel Dibble, OPSA President.

Labour's lack of investment in making education more affordable has forced them to ask the public to dig into their own pockets to pay for their children's education.

"How can I save for my child's education when I'm still paying off my own? Not to mention trying to save enough for a deposit on a house, save for retirement, and then there's getting by day-to-day" asks Natalie Absalom, OPSA vice-president.

Although in the same release Labour claim to be "*committed to keeping the costs of tertiary education as affordable as possible and ensuring low-income groups aren't shut out.", they fail to back this comment up in any way.

Labour claims this scheme enables families to plan ahead. "Rubbish -" responds Ms Absalom "Under this scheme only those with the money to save can actually plan ahead * free education would genuinely allow families to plan ahead, fairly and equally".

The scheme is proposed to have a government contribution component. "While this sounds like a positive move, it too is flawed as it really means that the government will pay money for the children of people who can afford to save, but do little for those who need the help the most said Ms Absalom.

"This proposed scheme is simply ridiculous. It is in truth the thin end of the wedge in privatising education, something we might expect from National or Act" said Ms Dibble.

ENDS

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