Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Unlawful student loan changes in Budget?

Unlawful student loan changes in Budget?

Changes signalled to the student loan scheme in Thursday's Budget will discriminate against older people and almost certainly breach human rights law, the Green Party said today.

In the lead-up to the Budget, Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has signalled plans to restrict access to student loans for living costs for students over the age of 55.

"This is age discrimination, plain and simple," Green Party Tertiary Education Spokesperson Gareth Hughes said.

The Human Rights Act and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act set out that it is unlawful to refuse to provide goods or services to someone on the basis of age.

"Refusing loans to older people is a clear-cut case of age discrimination and is simply unfair," Mr Hughes said.

"Everyone should have the same access to education and support no matter what their age.

"In the current recessionary environment, many people need to retrain after losing their jobs. For many older people, higher education is not a luxury, but a necessity.

"We're all living and working longer, and soon 55 will be mid-career for many people. It shouldn't be any harder for older people to upskill and retrain than for young people," Mr Hughes said.

Mr Hughes said the Government should be very careful about legislating to breach human rights legislation.

"Not only is it simply wrong and unfair, it may expose the Government to considerable legal risk because of the way the student loan scheme is set up.



"It exists outside of legislation, so simply legislating to change the eligibility requirements might not remove the Government's legal obligation to abide by human rights law.

"This could expose the Government to legal action against it on the basis of discrimination.

"It would be much smarter to abandon this discriminatory policy than to wade into a complex legal minefield trying to justify that discrimination.

"Everyone has the right to access higher education. Age shouldn't come into it," Mr Hughes said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Mosque Shooting Response: Ban On Military Style Semi-Automatics And Assault Rifles

Military style semi-automatics and assault rifles will be banned in New Zealand under stronger new gun laws announced today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says... Related parts used to convert these guns into MSSAs are also being banned, along with all high-capacity magazines.

“An amnesty will be put in place for weapons to be handed in, and Cabinet has directed officials to develop a buyback scheme...All semi-automatic weapons used during the terrorist attack on Friday 15 March will be banned." More>>

RNZ Report: No Mention Of Right-Wing Threat In 10 Years Of GCSB/SIS Docs
There is not one specific mention of the threat posed by white supremacists or right-wing nationalism in 10 years of public documents from the Security Intelligence Service or the GCSB. More>>

Two Minute Silence Friday: Auckland Mosques Opening Their Doors To All
Mosques in the four corners of Auckland will open their doors on Friday night for people of all faiths to gather in remembrance of the 50 lives lost in the Christchurch shootings. More>>

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK
For the Latest: Scoop Search - Christchurch
 

Gordon Campbell: On The School Climate Strike

Locally, the school strike has won a ton of support for bringing climate change to the fore. Yet the strikers don't want mere expressions of support. They want action. More>>

ALSO:

"Grabbed And Struck In The Face": Greens Co-Leader Attacked While Walking To Work

Green Party co-leader James Shaw was the victim of an unprovoked attack when he was walking to work in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

████████ ████ ███: Latest OIA Statistics Released

The latest statistics cover 110 agencies that collectively completed 18,106 official information requests between July and December 2018, a 16.4% increase on the 15,551 requests for the previous six months. More>>

ALSO:

'Hit And Run' Inquiry: New Legal Action Over Secrecy

The lawyer representing the Afghan villagers in the inquiry into Operation Burnham has launched legal proceedings calling for a judicial review in the investigation. More>>

ALSO:

From Hydro Plan To...: Mokihinui River Land To Join Kahurangi National Park

A total of 64,400 hectares of conservation land in the Mokihinui River catchment on the West Coast north of Westport, including 15 km of riverbed, is being added to Kahurangi National Park. “Adding this area, roughly half the size of Auckland City, to Kahurangi is the largest addition of land to an existing national park in New Zealand’s history,” Eugenie Sage said. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels