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Govt Getting Something Right On Student Funding?

Friday 31 May 2002

"I applaud the government's reported interest in the long term family saving scheme planned to reduce tertiary loan burdens," said ACT Commerce spokesman Stephen Franks.

"I commend the fact that they have not dismissed it just because it involves private sector management of personal accounts and respects family responsibility.

"I hope they are not put off by their Alliance partner's knee-jerk hostility. Complaints that it might help `rich families' more than poor, ignore the current situation where poor with no savings are automatically worse-off.

"The scheme as described could help re-establish pride in savings habits and the view of education as a personal investment everyone should plan on.

"There are successful schemes running now that many families have joined, based on principles similar to life insurance. But a government endorsement and the proposed $250 kick-off incentive for the new scheme may encourage many more children and families to look toward higher skills training as a natural and planned part of their lives.

"Current student allowance rules are grossly unfair and open to rorts, such as marriages of convenience. We have to change expectations to respect those who save when they can in comparison with those who don't. I hope the funds management industry gets wholeheartedly behind this initiative," Stephen Franks said.


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