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Time to act, not talk on student support

Time to act, not talk on student support

Students have been let down once again by the Government's lack of action on student support, Green MP Nandor Tanczos said today.

"After advising students for months that progress will be made on addressing their financial hardship, the Government's Student Support Review has been a disappointment," said Nandor, the Green Tertiary Education spokesperson.

"Whenever the Government has been questioned about student loans and allowances they've responded with a 'wait until the review' answer. Now, what they've come up with 'let's talk about it'.

"Students have been talking about it for years, the Green Party has been talking about it for years and we've even had the United Nations tell the Government that the loans scheme has a demonstrably unfavourable impact on women.

"It seems that despite a chorus of opposition to student loans, the Government appears willing to procrastinate further.

"Students have given the Government enough time to talk. Now it is time for action over a problem that threatens the prospects of a generation of New Zealanders.

"Can students expect any favours from a Government gambling millions of dollars on overseas sharemarkets, money that could be spent on education?" asked Nandor.

The Government had already shown its unwillingness to help students when it voted against Sue Bradford's Emergency Unemployment Benefit private members bill in its first term. "It is those kinds of measures that are needed to address the huge financial burden that students face in New Zealand," said Nandor.

"Despite fine words about the Knowledge Wave, this Government continues to seriously under-invest in tertiary education. Unfortunately it is not only students who will suffer.

"Fertility rates are declining, the rural sector is finding it difficult to attract professionals, women face a lifetime of debt repayment and home-ownership is fast becoming an impossibility for young New Zealanders.

"The Government seems oblivious to this and only now do they tell us they want to talk about it. It is time the rest of New Zealand spoke up and told the Government what serious damage their tertiary education policy is doing to our future," said Nandor.

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