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Where’s the rest, Don?

Where’s the rest, Don?

University of Auckland students are demanding that Don Brash and the National Party come clean with their full Tertiary Education Policy to ensure that students are fully informed before they head to the polls on Election Day. The call comes in response to the release of a tax relief policy on student loans by the National Party today.

“It’s great that National have finally released at least part of their intentions for the tertiary sector”, said Auckland University Students Association President Greg Langton. “We are concerned, however, that National are not telling the full story when it comes to the costs that students will have to pay” he said.

Mr Langton added that it was very difficult for students to take the promises seriously, when it was National that introduced the Student Loan Scheme in their last administration, a scheme that amounted to over $7 billion worth of debt between 460 000 New Zealanders. “We would certainly welcome a change in policy direction from the National Party. We just don’t know if this announcement necessarily constitutes that”.

AUSA Education Vice President Xavier Goldie added that the tax relief may be totally meaningless for students within the context of further changes to the tertiary education sector that National supported.

“We don’t know what National will do with interest rates on loans, but we do know that they are in favour of removing the cap on tuition fee increases”, he said. “It’s patently clear that if those changes go ahead under a National-led government, then any tax relief on student loan repayments will mean very little in real terms. The end result will simply be students borrowing more from the scheme to pay for the rapidly rising cost of tertiary education.

“We call on all parties to take a serious look at the issue of student debt, which affects more New Zealanders than just the students themselves. It’s high time that there were real changes to the system, rather than simply pre-election sweeteners”, said Mr Langton.


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