Students express disappointment at meagre budget
Students express disappointment at meagre offerings from budget.
Otago students were “deeply, deeply disappointed” by today's budget, according to Otago University Students' Association President Steven Sutton.
“There was a real hope out there that this year we'd see something meaningful from Labour. They had the means at their disposal, and this was Labour's chance to tackle the nation's student debt crisis once and for all. Instead, Dr. Cullen has chosen to pussyfoot around the problem. The student debt situation is not going to be fixed by skirting the edges and tinkering with thresholds. Students have lost out today.” affirmed Mr. Sutton
It is not just students who will lose out, however. “The reality is that the students' loss is the nation's loss too. New Zealand is mortgaging its own future, and unless something major is done soon, the country will be left in the lurch as debt-ridden graduates – doctors and teachers and all of our best and brightest – flee to jobs overseas. What good will Labour's huge surplus be then?” asked Mr. Sutton
On a positive note, Mr. Sutton was pleased to hear that the Trainee Medical Intern Grants for sixth year medical students have been increased for the first time since the 1980s. “This is something that students organisations at Otago have been lobbying for for years, and will help to ease the strain on new doctors” he said. “However, in the context of the wider dearth of student support in this budget, these small advances are like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.”