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Robson Outlines Benefits Of Free Education

23 February 2005

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Progressive MP on Mainland outlining benefits of free education

Progressive MP Matt Robson on campuses this week with Young Progressives, meeting with students in Christchurch and Dunedin to outline his party's Election 2005 education policy. His campus tour will take him throughout New Zealand, from Northland to Invercargill.

"The level of student debt, and tertiary fees, are dual drags on our economy's future performance, as well as a serious social menace. This year, the Progressive Party is campaigning on student debt.

“We're proposing to help pay off loan debt for graduates who stay and work in New Zealand as a start in helping students with debt. Each year, for at least three years, that a student remains working in New Zealand after they graduate, the government would meet the standard ten cents in the dollar loan repayment," Matt Robson said.

The Progressive Party believes that the economy needs to encourage high-quality research and education more than ever before to compete in the world.

"To ensure New Zealand doesn't slip backwards as a nation, we should use the gains from our flourishing economy to support better access to tertiary education. The Progressives are therefore proposing a significant incremental step forward toward better access to higher education with our 2005 policy platform," Matt Robson said.

The Progressive MP said that of the smaller parties in Parliament, the Progressives as a coalition partner in Government has the "best record, by a country mile," of actually implementing its policies for New Zealanders.

"When we set our mind to achieve a policy, we get there - Kiwibank, regional and industry development, four weeks' annual leave and paid parental leave. And of course for students our student loan interest waiver was implemented in 2000.

"Progressive has now set its sights, with our student debt policy, on implementing the first step to free and universal access to higher education.”

ENDS

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