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Loan Scheme Suggestions A Blast From The Past

6 May 2002

Green Tertiary Education Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos today criticised the Government over new suggestions for the student loans scheme.

Nandor said that rather than reducing access and putting a timeline on repayments, the Government should rethink the whole scheme.

Nandor said he was concerned at comments from Steve Maharey's office that encouraging families to start private savings is the way to reduce borrowing.

"This is going the wrong way down a one way street," he said.

"The Government is wasting time finding ways to maintain a lemon. They should scrap the wreck and get a new vehicle. It is time to recognise that the scheme is economically and socially damaging and commit to getting rid of it."

Nandor said introducing universal student allowances would be a substantial first step towards dismantling the loans scheme that would also encourage young people into higher education.

"Universal student allowances are the logical first step towards phasing out the scheme. If students do not have to borrow to eat and pay the rent then student debt will drop massively.

"From there we can work on reducing fees," he said.

"The student loan scheme has no place in a country committed to higher learning and a knowledge-based society."

Ends

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