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Lack of support forces export ed U-turn

Hon Bill English National Education Spokesman
Pansy Wong MP National Asian Relationships Spokeswoman

16 April 2004

Lack of support forces export ed U-turn

The Government's U-turn over the export education levy doesn't go far enough - the Bill should be thrown out, say National MPs Bill English and Pansy Wong

Their comments come in response to an announcement yesterday that Education Minister Trevor Mallard would ask the select committee working on the Education (Export Education Levy) Amendment Bill to remove Clause 5.

Clause 5 relates to the increase in the export education levy from 0.45% to 0.7%. The increase was justified on the grounds of increased security for students and has been the subject of severe criticism from the export education sector.

"Trevor Mallard claims the U-turn is the result of consultation with the sector, but the simple fact of the matter is, he didn't have the numbers on the select committee," says Mrs Wong.

Mr English says: "While the removal of clause 5 means that providers will not automatically be charged for problems in the sector, they remain liable for the costs incurred by the Government when institutions fail."

"Private providers have no control over the success or failure of other providers. The accreditation, audit and any necessary follow-up is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and the NZQA.

"If the Minister is serious about securing our fifth largest export earner, he will scrap the Bill entirely and stop wasting taxpayers money and Parliamentary time.

Mrs Wong says: "To pass a bill that makes education providers pay for future failures within the industry will serve to encourage rogue operators and let Government agencies off the hook."


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