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Average student loan debt skyrockets

Average student loan debt skyrockets

Monday 10 Jan 2005

Deborah Coddington - Press Releases - Tertiary Education

The average student loan debt has skyrocketed by 22 percent since Labour came to power, ACT Education spokesman Deborah Coddington revealed today.

Miss Coddington today released new information obtained from written parliamentary questions that shows the average student loan debt has increased by $2,661.54 - from $11,885.84 at 31 December 1999 to $14,547.38 at 30 November 2004.

"These figures show that Labour has failed in its 1999 election promise to curb student debt. Under this Government it has gone from $2 billion to more than $7 billion," Miss Coddington said.

"Labour has let the student loan monster spiral out of control. A whole new generation of young New Zealanders will be laden with debt that will take years to pay off.

"Some graduates will find it difficult to pay off their loans while also paying Helen Clark's 39-cent envy tax. Many will simply leave New Zealand to escape the millstone around their necks."

Miss Coddington said older New Zealanders are also taking out student loans in significant numbers - loans that she predicts many will take to their graves. The MP encourages older New Zealanders who want to educate themselves, but suggests they should carry more of the cost themselves.

Figures also released show 4,713 people aged 60 and over had student loans at September 2004, compared with 2,413 in June 2002.

"The Government has failed to keep its promise to reign in student debt. Labour is set to get a roasting on the hustings this year by the more than 400,000 students and former students who now hold student loans," Miss Coddington said.

ENDS


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