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Ogilvy welcomes Govt picking up UF tertiary saving

Tuesday, 16 November 2004

Ogilvy welcomes Govt picking up UF tertiary savings idea

United Future education spokesman Bernie Ogilvy today welcomed Prime Minister Helen Clark effectively adopting United Future policy on introducing voluntary long-term savings schemes for tertiary education,

Miss Clark signalled that the Government would look in that direction in addressing the Labour Party conference at the weekend.

Under questioning from Mr Ogilvy in Parliament today, Associate Tertiary Education Minister Steve Maharey confirmed that such a scheme was promoted by United Future in last year's Budget round and that it had received by far the strongest support of any issue in last year's Student Support: Discussion Document, with over half of submitters backing the idea.

"United Future has long been promoting a government-assisted savings scheme to help families put money aside for their children's tertiary education, and obviously we're very pleased to see Helen Clark starting to move in that direction," Mr Ogilvy said later.

He said such a scheme would go a long way to sparing future generations the huge burden of student loans.

"There were 418,761 borrowers with outstanding debt held by Inland Revenue at 30 June this year - up from 390,027 in 2003. How long will it take for them to repay their loans? Will this affect their decisions to buy a house, or have children?"

"New Zealand needs to look at real alternatives to the current scheme - such a savings scheme is one that gives families a real chance to help their children in the long term," Mr Ogilvy said.

ENDS

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