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Progressives delighted Nats steal our policy

27 May 2008 Media Statement


Progressives delighted Nats steal our policy

Jim Anderton is congratulating National on reports National is pinching a Progressive Party idea to reduce student debt.

National leader John Key has said National is looking at a bonding scheme where medical students' loans could be wiped if they agree to work as GPs in rural areas for three or four years.

The policy was first developed by the Progressive Party and Jim Anderton has mentioned it widely in his speeches over the last year.

An updated policy will be a major plank for Progressives at this year's election.

"It makes sense to encourage people to stay in New Zealand and work off their debt. If they contribute to New Zealand, we should contribute to them.

"It doesn't make sense to limit the policy to only medical students. We are also short of vets in rural areas for example. We need more scientists. There are skills shortages in many areas and they are not only in rural New Zealand.

"National has been a huge supporter of student debt. If National is seeing that it doesn't make sense to tax students for their education, then I welcome the change. But I note John Key has again hedged his bets and won't commit to the policy because he is too weak to take a firm stand for a strong policy," Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

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