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Key's bribe to students too little, too late

RAM - Residents Action Movement
Media release 27 May 2008

"Key's bribe to students too little, too late", says RAM

John Key's suggestion that doctors receive a free education if they stay in New Zealand for three or four years after graduation does not tackle the issues facing tertiary students, says Oliver Woods, Auckland Central candidate for RAM - Residents Action Movement.

"Key's election bribe to students is too little, too late," said Oliver Woods.

"Most students, not just those in medical schools, are facing big debts and fee rises every year. They frustrated by the refusal of both National and Labour to end user pays tertiary education."

"Standing in this year's election, RAM will be proposing a full and universal bond system whereby all students will receive a free tertiary education if they stay in New Zealand for five years following graduation," said Oliver Woods.

"Additionally, the age levels of student allowances must be lowered to 18 years. Students need a helping hand from government like they received for most of the 20th century, not a smack in the face."

"Such a system would reward young Kiwis for staying in New Zealand and would help stop the brain drain overseas. Tertiary education in New Zealand should be a right, not a privilege as it is at present."

"Student organisations have spent two decades lobbying hard for a rethink of the lunacy of our failed market-driven system. Yet the two big parties have ignored them."

"As a student myself, I know that students everywhere want positive policy changes that ease the costs of fees, accommodation and other necessities. So I am standing for RAM in Auckland Central against Labour Party high-flyer Judith Tizard and her more-market National rival. Students are sick of being invisible people ignored by the politicians unless they feel the need to throw a few election crumbs," said Oliver Woods.

Oliver Woods is standing as an Auckland Central candidate for RAM, as the Residents Action Movement is popularly known. A post-graduate student, he is also involved in a small IT startup company.

RAM, a political movement in the process of registration with the Electoral Commission, was formed into a national-level party just three months ago. Already the new party has 2,500 members, giving it a bigger membership than other parties currently represented in parliament (United Future, the Progressives and ACT). RAM's GST-off-food petition has attracted 12,000 signatures over the past few weeks.

In the 2008 general election, RAM will be contesting electorate seats around the country (including upwards of a dozen in Greater Auckland), as well as the party list vote. Its aim is to provide a strong broad left voice.


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