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Adopt Progressive's graduate debt relief policy

Tuesday 5 July 2005

Hon Jim Anderton MP, Progressive Leader

Memo to Labour: Adopt Progressive's graduate debt relief policy

Labour MPs meeting for an all-day caucus today should seriously consider adopting Progressive's 2005 election policy to slash graduates' debt, says party leader Jim Anderton.

"Progressive's priorities for the 2005-2008 Parliament include cutting graduates’ debt, taking strong action to reduce youth binge drinking, doing more to get low income families into their first homes, cutting the corporate tax rate to encourage more job-creation and a cash payment of $200 for superannuitants to help them afford their winter heating costs.

"We would urge Labour to adopt all of our progressive policies as their own and a good start at today's all-day Caucus would be to adopt our debt relief proposals," Jim Anderton said.

"Our proposal is for the government to meet graduates' debt repayments for at least three years after graduation, in return for graduates using their skills and talents to work in New Zealand.

"Our business leaders tell us every day that skill shortages are one of the biggest impediments to their growth. If graduates work in New Zealand in return for having some of their debt paid off, employers will find it easier to locate the skills they need," the Progressive leader said.

"And we know that as the developed world’s working population ages, the international contest for skilled workers will accelerate. Educated New Zealand graduates will have increasing opportunities, and we need to be competitive to keep them here.

Details on How Progressive's student loan scheme works are posted at: http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=Sections&op=viewarticle&artid=105

ENDS

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