Mindboggling, breathtaking 'radicalism'
2 May 2000
For immediate release
Mindboggling, breathtaking 'radicalism' from ex-Minister who always said no
Alliance education spokesperson Liz Gordon said today it was like falling down a rabbit hole to Wonderland to hear Wyatt Creech say that National might support universal student allowances.
"The National Party appears to have just discovered that means testing students on their parents' income until age 25, while unemployed people get the benefit as of right, is unfair," she said.
"When Mr Creech was Minister of Education he positively sneered at any suggestion that a universal student allowance would be either fair or affordable," Dr Gordon said.
"Now that he is in opposition he appears to have changed his mind."
Liz Gordon, who chairs the Education and Science Select Committee, says she will welcome a submission from Mr Creech to the committee's inquiry into fees, loans and allowances which is taking place in the second half of this year.
"I'd love to see a submission from the National Party arguing that allowances should be universal."
Dr Gordon said the Alliance had for years been a lonely advocate for universal allowances based on the principles of natural justice: that one group should not be treated differently to another because of its status.
"The full range of issues around the resourcing of tertiary education will have to be considered seriously by Parliament this year as the current system appears unsustainable."