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Student loan changes criminalising a generation

Student loan changes criminalising a generation

The Government’s new regime against student loan defaulters is nothing but a cheap gimmick which will do little to improve debt repayment, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“Arresting defaulters at the border will simply put educated and skilled Kiwis off returning to New Zealand.

“It won’t result in a large increase in student loan repayments and the Government has admitted as much.

“This new law is turning what was a civil issue into a criminal issue and in the process criminalising a generation of Kiwis.

“The police have said they don’t have the resources to enforce these changes.

“If the Government is serious about student loan debt, it shouldn’t cut students’ access to student allowances, forcing them to increase their loans.

“Repaying student loans is already financially crippling for many people after the Government increased repayments to 12 cents in every dollar earned.

“Labour wants to encourage repayment of loans and for borrowers to meet their obligations, in a fair-handed way. Inland Revenue needs to be supported to work out payment plans with borrowers that are sustainable and actually see money paid back.

“All New Zealanders will benefit from that rather than the disingenuous gimmick that National has provided,” Grant Robertson says.

Ends

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