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Interest waiver great - debt relief next step

26 July 2005

Hon Jim Anderton MP, Progressive Leader

Interest waiver great - Progressive debt relief next step

Helen Clark's announcement that Labour is campaigning to remove the interest charged on loans for tertiary graduates is a positive policy, which would help remove barriers to higher education, says Progressive leader Jim Anderton.

"It is a policy which would be perfectly complemented if matched with Progressive's Graduate Debt Relief policy in the next coalition government," Jim Anderton said.

"The interest waiver for those graduates who reside in New Zealand is a vote of confidence in New Zealand's future as a skilled nation. It builds on the achievements of the coalition government in its first term to stop interest accruing while students are in full-time study.

"Progressive supports all moves toward free tertiary education, including no fees and universal student allowances and in this year's election, Progressive is campaigning on a policy that would see the government meet graduates' student loan repayments for at least three years after graduation as long as they continue to live and work in New Zealand.

"Student loans are constricting the future potential of graduates, forcing many to leave New Zealand, delay home ownership and delay having children. Our economy and our society lose when debt-laden students head overseas after graduation in search of higher incomes to help pay their debts back home.

"The policies of our coalition government over the past six years, and the policies we are taking to the electorate in 2005, highlight the very stark contrast between what a re-elected Labour-Progressive government would offer young people and how a National-led government would in contrast smash students with higher tertiary fees to offset big income tax cuts for those that least need it," he said.

Progressive Graduate Debt Relief Policy:


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