Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Students should not have to borrow to live

Wednesday, 28 April 2004

Dunne: Students should not have to borrow to live

The news that student debt has soared to $7 billion today is a landmark that no government should be proud of, according to United Future leader Peter Dunne

“Students shouldn’t have to borrow to live. We don’t ask this of our sick, aged, or unemployed, yet somehow it is acceptable to do this to the best and brightest of our youth.”

Mr Dunne said one way to bring down the spiralling costs of student loans is to make the student allowance system fairer.

“Students under 25 are assessed for allowances based on their combined parental income, so that those whose parents earn less than $28,079 get a full allowance, and those whose parents earn more than $50,751 get nothing.

“These income thresholds haven’t changed since 1992, and it would be hard to claim that a combined parental income of more than $50,000 is wealthy by today’s standards. These thresholds must change to reflect the reality of incomes in 2004.

“Another inequity is the fact that whereas students under 25 are assessed for allowances based on their parents’ income, the same rules do not apply to those aged under 25 on the dole who might be just as reliant on parental support yet, in comparison, are getting money for doing nothing.

“What kind of messages do such inequities send to our young people about the value society places on their desire to seek a better future for themselves through higher education?

“By not addressing these issues surrounding student allowances, we are pushing young people further into the loan scheme.

“The legacy of debt that they carry with them in the following years will affect their decisions about staying in New Zealand, buying a home, or starting a family, at a time when higher salaries beckon overseas, house prices have become unaffordable, and couples are increasingly delaying childbirth.”

Mr Dunne said United Future would introduce bonding schemes for graduates in fields facing skills shortages (e.g. health), whereby loan debt would be written-off in return for work in New Zealand after graduation.

“And to remove impediments to decisions about when or whether to start a family, United Future would freeze student loan interest and write-off a portion of caregivers’ debt for two years when they have a child.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news