National Challenged To Match Labour’s Loan Policy
National Challenged To Match Labour’s Student Loan Policy
Earlier today the Labour party released a policy promising to wipe interest on student loans for graduates who remain in New Zealand to work. “There is now a clear choice between the two major parties. There are over 400,000 New Zealanders with student loans – National must front up or it will effectively concede the student vote,” said University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA) President George Hampton, “Since the advent of user pays education, the prohibitive interest rate of 7% on student loans has severely affected graduates’ ability to pay back their debt, and forced them overseas where higher salaries make the task much easier. Labour has long said it wants to build a Knowledge Economy in New Zealand. Stopping graduates fleeing overseas is the best way to do this.”
“National’s policy release last week was a small shuffle forward. Labour’s announcement today is a big step in the right direction” Hampton said. “Labour has also announced that they plan to increase the number receiving the student allowance to half of all full-time tertiary students. We challenge National to better Labour’s policy and increase their commitment to levels of student support and loans.”
National party tertiary education spokesman Bill English is visiting the University of Canterbury campus this Friday, and Hampton said he planned to ask him how a National-led government would match the policies offered by a third-term Labour government.