26 July 2005
Simple loans policy deserves plaudits
Labour’s interest free student loan policy is a simple and straightforward way to ease the debt burden for a generation of young and new teachers with student loans, PPTA president Debbie Te Whaiti said today.
“This long overdue policy is a great incentive for our young and new teachers to stay in New Zealand schools and a boost for schools who desperately want to keep them,” Te Whaiti said.
“We know that many young teachers have been heading overseas in an attempt to earn more money to pay off their loan more quickly.
“While young New Zealanders will always travel and work overseas, this will encourage some to come back sooner and reduce the pressure on others who feel they must leave New Zealand in order to pay off their loans.”
PPTA’s Young and New Teachers (YANT) coordinator Lucy Jansen said student loan debt was a key issue amongst young and new teachers and the vast majority would welcome Labour’s initiative.
“A lot of lives have been put on hold because of student loans and the interest that has accrued on them.
“This will ease a lot of young teachers’ burden and will make it easier for them to save for their first home, start a family or even start saving for their retirement.”
Debbie Te Whaiti also welcomed Labour’s decision to retain its fee maxima policy but she said it stopped short of a real increase in EFTS funding for tertiary institutions – the only measure that would reduce high student fees.