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Government Running Scared – Loans Changes

THE AUCKLAND UNIVERSITY STUDENTS' ASSOCIATION (INC.)
TE ROOPU TAUIRA O TE WHARE WAANANGA O TAMAKI MAKAURAU

Press Release
For Immediate Release

Thursday 7 October, 1999

GOVERNMENT RUNNING SCARED – LOANS CHANGES

Documents released to the New Zealand Herald yesterday indicating National plans to change the loans scheme prior to the election, show a government clearly running scared in the face of student protests across the country according to student leaders at the Auckland University Students’ Association (AUSA).

“This is a blatant attempt at electioneering. The proposed changes are minimal – allowing for only 25% of the base interest to be written off while studying – and will not significantly alleviate student hardship,” said Eva Neitzert, co-Education Vice President of AUSA.

This week, students at Canterbury and Victoria Universities have occupied buildings at their respective Universities to express their frustration with a tertiary system in crisis. “Clearly, what is required is not slight tinkering with the loans scheme but the removal of all interest on loans and the gradual lowering of fees so that the loans scheme will no longer be required,” continued Ms Neitzert.

Students at the University of Auckland will be partaking in the nationwide protest actions next Tuesday with the smashing of a wall that symbolises the $3 billion debt students’ owe to the loans scheme.

“It is time for the government to listen to students and take concrete steps to remedy the crisis in the education system. No more cheap attempts at window dressing that are merely desperate attempts at vote grabbing by a government that is staring down the barrel of an election defeat,” concluded Ms Neitzert.

Contacts:

Eva Neitzert 309 0789 x 204
Co-Education Vice President
e.neitzert@auckland.ac.nz

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