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Alliance Turns Loan Shark On Students

The Alliance's student loan policy reads like a loan shark's sales pitch, Associate Minister of Revenue David Carter said today.

"It's a 'buy now, pay later' fantasy," Mr Carter said.

"Students would be enticed into spending up large while studying, only to have to pay it all back as income earners while also being crippled by high taxes paying for the interest costs of the Alliance's pie-in-the-sky scheme.

"Mr Anderton is promising to make all student fees interest free. That is not only fiscally unrealistic, it's also grossly unfair.

"Tertiary graduates on average, earn $525,000 more over their lifetimes than their school mate going straight into a job.

"Now Mr Anderton is promising them an extra bonus of interest free money to invest and capitalise on," Mr Carter said.

"This is blatantly unfair to school leavers who don't go on to tertiary education and also to all those hard working New Zealanders who budget carefully to pay their mortgage and meet their commitments.

"The Alliance would be encouraging students to live for today, to go skiing, to buy the latest stereo and to forget the costs.

"The trouble is New Zealand cannot forget the cost. Even without a detailed costing of Mr Anderton's dreamtime, it is safe to predict the costs would skyrocket," Mr Carter said.

"Mr Anderton talks about an Alliance/Labour Government. We'd all like to know what Labour thinks of this scheme.

"Mr Anderton is obviously not proud of this policy himself or he wouldn't be trying to bury it in the busiest new week of the year with Apec and East Timor dominating the headlines," Mr Carter said.

Ends

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