National Tinkers with Loans Scheme
Student leaders at the Auckland University Students’ Association (AUSA) today condemned Nationals’ tinkering with the loans scheme, labeling it as a cheap attempt at vote grabbing.
Nationals’ announcement that 25% of base interest will be removed from the loans scheme while studying from January 2000, comes just one month after Jenny Shipley categorically denied that changes would be made to the loans scheme in the near future.
“With the elections only five weeks away, the government is clearly grabbing at straws. These changes do not adequately address student hardship. If the government was really concerned about students, as Max Bradford claims he is, they would remove all interest from loans and increase funding to the tertiary sector to ensure that fees decrease so that the loans scheme becomes superfluous,” said Eva Neitzert, Co-Education Vice President at AUSA.
“If the National government believes this tinkering will erase their atrocious track record in the tertiary sector over the past nine years, they should wake up and listen to students who have vented their anger in nationwide protests and occupations over the last three weeks,” concluded Ms Neitzert.