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Alliance Tertiary Policy A Tax on Jobs

The Alliance Party’s promise to tax job creators to fund tertiary education will add up to less employment for graduates, Tertiary Education Minister Max Bradford said today.

“All the Alliance is promising is another tax in order to pay for its extravagant spending promises.

“Using figures from the Ministry of Education, the on-going cost of the Alliance’s policy would be nearly $1 billion a year.

“However, reintroducing an unimproved-value tax (UTV) on commercial land would cover less than half of this.

“What is the Alliance going to tax to cover the balance?” Mr Bradford asked.

“The Alliance ignores the fact that taxing those who provide employment, and raising business costs will only make businesses less able to employ more staff.

“This is nothing more than short-sighted political expedience. The Alliance is prepared to buy the student vote with other people’s money.

“Companies and valuable land owners are an easy target, but jobs will be the cost of the Alliance’s plans to introduce a UTV on commercial land,” Mr Bradford said.

“Most reasonable people regard paying something towards their education as fair.

“Meanwhile, the Government has made a number of changes to help students who have high debt and low incomes.
‘For example, from 2001, students will have up to 25 per cent of their base interest written-off while studying.

“As well as this, the Government will write-off a substantial part of interest payments once a borrower is earning and will direct payments to paying off the principle.

“These changes will see people with loans pay them off much quicker,” Mr Bradford said.

Note to Editors: The nearly $1 billion cost is an estimated figure made up of: removing fees, $425 million; Universal Allowance, $300 million; savings on abolishing the Student Loan Scheme $77 million; plus $334 million for the estimated 15% increase in enrolments.

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