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Debt casebook highlights need for a change

Labour
2000 web siteThe debt casebook released by polytechnic and university students today has 12 more good reasons why there needs to be a change in Government, Labour associate education (tertiary) spokesperson Steve Maharey said today.

Steve Maharey said the 12 case studies outlined and the results from the 305 respondents to a questionnaire on student debt provided damning evidence against the Government's tertiary policies.

"In communities around the country, New Zealanders are saying 'enough is enough'. The publication released today is another illustration of why people are feeling that way," Steve Maharey said.

"The National Government sees tertiary education as a commodity that young people make a profit out of, and should therefore have to pay huge amounts for. Under National, the cost of tertiary education has skyrocketed and that trend is set to continue unless there is a change of Government.

"Labour sees all education primarily as a public good. We won't be able to mould the society we want unless we have the educated and skilled people needed to drive a knowledge-based economy.

"There is a clear difference for voters in the election who look at tertiary education as an issue. Under National, high costs will continue to restrict access to tertiary education to many New Zealanders and others will be left with huge debts. Under Labour, the direction will change and there will be a real emphasis on getting those costs down.

"Already, as a first step, Labour has announced that there will be no interest charged on the loans for full-time and other low income students while they are still studying.

"The cases outlined by university and polytechnic students today, show why that will make a huge difference to many students and their families," Steve Maharey said.

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