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Student Loan Changes Pass

The Student Loan Scheme Amendment Bill completed its third reading in Parliament tonight

The bill passed by 72 to 45 with National, ACT, United Future, New Zealand First, and the Maori Party supporting.

Labour MPs had supported the bill, but were unhappy the Government stuck to its plans to reduce the loan repayment holidays from three years to one year when former students are overseas. Labour wanted to keep it at three years or suggested a compromise of two years, but this was rejected.

They also raised concerns that the bill would now be retrospective to April 1 2012 because of delays in the bill’s progress.

The Government said it was only a matter of days and IRD, employers and students had been gearing up for the changes to take effect from the beginning of the tax year.

MPs began the four hour committee stage debate on the the Appropriation (2010/11 Financial Review) Bill.

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