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The economic benefits of investing in education

9 March 2005

The economic benefits of investing in education

Progressive MP Matt Robson is meeting with Waikato University students and their representatives today to outline his party’s view that increasing the government’s investment in education would deliver national economic and social benefits.

“Progressive wants our best and brightest to remain in New Zealand to contribute their skills to New Zealand. Our Election 2005 policy proposes to financially encourage participation in higher education, not penalise it,” Matt Robson said.

“The policy that we are proposing to voters is that the next coalition government should meet loan repayments for at least three years after graduation in return for graduates committing to New Zealand by working here and using their talents to contribute to our economy,” the Progressive MP said.

“We have to keep more of our talented young people working here, not overseas contributing their skills to other economies.”

The Progressive MP said that as the developed world’s working population ages, the international contest for skilled workers would further accelerate. Educated and skilled Kiwi graduates will have increasing opportunities to work anywhere in the world and New Zealand can’t escape the global competition to attract and keep skilled workers.

Research by AC Nielsen on behalf of Study Link and the Inland Revenue Department, and two reports from the Ministry of Education, have found student loans as presently operated are encouraging some graduates to leave New Zealand, delay home ownership and put off having children.

“If Progressive is part of an historic third term Labour-led coalition, we will work to ensure that the next coalition government adopts our policy to encourage education.

BACKGROUND: Of the many smaller parties in Parliament, Progressive has by far the best record of actually getting good things done for people.

At the Cabinet table over the past five years, Progressive MPs Jim Anderton and Matt Robson have won coalition support to establish Kiwibank and an integrated industry and regional development framework; enact four weeks' annual leave for workers and paid parental leave for workers; An interest-freeze on student debt for full time students, and a three-year fee freeze, are among other progressive achievements which were won thanks to calm, rational persuasion at the Cabinet table. Progressive is saying in Election 2005: Use your party vote to make us part of the next coalition so we can make serious progress toward free tertiary education.

ENDS

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