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Alliance keeps student loans on a leash

Media Release 27th February 2001

For immediate release

"Alliance keeps student loans on a leash"

Alliance Education Spokesperson Liz Gordon says that the recent announcement that the student loan interest rate will remain at 7% is good news for students and further proof of the positive role that the Alliance is playing in government.

"The government has adopted a new interest rate regime which will keep interest rates lower than in the past" said Dr Gordon.

She said that the government had previously been advised to increase the student loan interest rate, "but it was decided that there was no justification for that, and some support for an even lower level". Last year, the Alliance was instrumental in preventing the student loan interest rate from rising from 7% to 7.6%. In Australia and the United Kingdom, students are only charged the inflation rate on their student loans.

Liz Gordon says that more than half of all interest charged ends up being wiped, with the average rate paid being only 3%, "so there is very little income lost by having a lower rate of interest"

Earlier this month, Liz Gordon announced that movement in the student loan interest rate was one of the priorities for the Alliance in this term of government.

"It is good news that there has been no increase. I hope that today's announcement provides a platform by which to call for a reduction in student loan interest rates"

For further comment contact: (04) 470 6668 (025) 545 008 http://www.alliance.org.nz

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