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Money doesn't grow on trees

4 May 2001 Media Statement

Money doesn't grow on trees

Education Minister Trevor Mallard said education policies to be announced by National tomorrow appear to have been developed in Fantasyland.

He said the technology announcement, detailed on One News tonight, would cost too much to be a realistic option.

"If money grew on trees, I would give every child a laptop computer too," Trevor Mallard said.

"But even with a large bulk order discount, such a policy would cost more than $1 billion every three years just for the computers and without a hefty tax rise, we don't have that kind of money. National would have to put the top tax rate up by 5 cents to fund this proposal alone.

"The other announcement previewed tonight is a bizarre and unfair tertiary education system that would give higher tertiary education subsidies to students who performed well at secondary school.

"What this does is disadvantage less academic students no matter how hard they work.

"Why should a bright student who breezes through secondary education have their university degree heavily subsidised while a plodder who might want to do a trade course at a polytechnic has to pay through the roof?

"Within the labour market, we need people with a variety of skills and they don't all have to be rocket scientists.

"New Zealand voters are realists. They will not be sucked in by National Party policies which they will not be able to pay for," Trevor Mallard said.


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