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Loans deception calculated and deliberate

Hon Bill English MP National Party Education Spokesman

14 September 2005

Loans deception calculated and deliberate

"Trevor Mallard, Michael Cullen and Helen Clark have consistently lied about the cost of their student loan policy," says National Party Education spokesman Bill English.

Treasury costings released by order of the Ombudsman today reveal the true cost of Labour's student loan policy - to taxpayers and students.

"This deception has been so calculated and deliberate that it almost defies belief.

"In interview after interview this trio has claimed that their irresponsible policy would have a maximum cost of $300 million.

"Reports prepared by the Treasury, both Michael Cullen's fudged version and the more realistic earlier versions, show that it will cost much, much more than that.

"Thousands of well-meaning students and their families have been deceived by Labour.

"Treasury states that this policy will add $2.4 billion to government debt by 2008/2009. Within ten years the policy will have added $10. 3 billion to government debt.

"By 2020 Labour's policy will have led to a $5 billion increase in student debt.

"Not only will Labour's policy increase national debt, it will also increase student debt.

"Under Labour's policy, student loan debt will increase to $10 billion by 2008/2009, as compared with the $9 billion it is set to increase to under current settings. By 2020, Labour's policy will have led to a $20 billion blow-out in debt.

"This rank dishonesty proves that none of these Labour Ministers deserves to hold a ministerial warrant after this election," says Mr English.


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