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What's The Score, Mallard?

What's The Score, Mallard?

Labour's decision to spend up to $500,000 of taxpayer's money to meet the future accommodation costs of foreign students at risk of losing their homestays, due to the collapse of the Modern Age English Language schools, has raised more questions than it has answered, ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"While I respect the fact that it is unacceptable for visitors, who have come here legitimately, to be tossed out on the street - and I have sympathy for these students' plight - this sorry state of affairs raises some interesting questions," Miss Coddington said.

"Education Minister Trevor Mallard must front up and explain to taxpayers, and private education providers, what NZQA found during its two audits of Modern Age. Did it discover that fees paid, by students, to the school for accommodation had been used for `other purposes'? If so, what action did it take?

"Mr Mallard said he intends to lift the levy on private providers to foreign students, to pay for Government intervention. This Minister doesn't even attempt to hide his ideological bias against the private sector. I don't recall Mr Mallard expecting polytechnics to bail out other institutions, to the tune of $50 million, when some polytechs hit financial trouble.

"The Minister hasn't given private providers the courtesy of telling them how much this levy will be. I have written to him, demanding an answer to this question, and more. However, while I look forward to his answer, I wil not hold my breath for anything substantial," Miss Coddington said.

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