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New Export Education Levy A Shambles

ACT Tertiary Education Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today condemned the Government's attempts to force through, without consultation, a new levy on tertiary institutions who accept foreign fee-paying students.

"This is yet another example of hasty, ill-considered legislation from a Government that is making hasty, ill-considered legislation its hallmark. The whole process is a shambles.

"What we have here is another tax from a Government that said it wouldn't be imposing new taxes on New Zealanders other than those earning over $60,000.

"The Private Training Establishments, who have already been hit hard by this Government will find this new, as yet unquantified, levy a particular strain.

"The PTE's have already had their ability to expand severely cramped by Minister Steve Maharey's unexpected decision to slam a moratorium on funding for new private courses.

"In addition, answers to my Parliamentary questions which I have just received show that Government charges on PTE's were hiked by a staggering 44 percent in the past year, while the number of PTE courses approved was actually reduced from 88 to 86. So the PTEs are being charged more by the Government for less courses.

"This levy will inevitably have a negative impact on our tertiary institutions. The fact that students studying here for less than three months will also be included in the levy is another aggravating factor.

"I urge the Government to reconsider its intention to ram this new levy through and instead allow time for consultation so that we will not, yet again, see the spectacle of changes having to be made retrospectively because the job was initially botched," Dr Newman said.

Ends

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