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Survey backs UF policy on tertiary savings scheme

Monday, 2 May 2005

Dunne: Survey backs UF policy on tertiary savings scheme

United Future leader Peter Dunne said today that a survey showing that just over half of New Zealand parents are now saving for their children’s future education added weight to United Future’s policy of a government-backed scheme.

“We’ve consistently called for a voluntary long-term savings programme, complete with government incentives, that would help parents to save for their children’s tertiary education from birth. “Parents are clearly voting with their feet here and saying they want this option.

“They are showing that they are thinking of the long-term needs of their children, and frankly it’s time for the Government to get on to it and provide them with a means of doing so from birth,” Mr Dunne said in the wake of the Manchester Unity Friendly Society commissioned survey of parents with children under 12. He said similar schemes had been established in Canada, Britain and Sweden, and that it had been the single most popular suggestion among submissions to the Government’s recent discussion document, Student Support in New Zealand.

“Parents are seeing their children potentially burdened with large student loans in the years ahead are saying ‘wake up, we don’t want this for our sons and daughters’. Right now United Future is the only party that is listening,” he said.

United Future’s scheme would allow parents to automatically divert money, including part of any family assistance payments, to it, with an initial government lump-sum endowment, and incentives on a progressive basis matching regular instalments. The fund would be accessible at the age of 18, he said.

ENDS

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