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Address the cause of student debt: Fees

Thu Oct 7 1999

The Alliance said recent student protest are about fee increases not are not just about student loan interest rates and that the Alliance was the only party who is going to reduce fees.

'These protests and occupations are against huge fee increases being suggested for next year. The Alliance is the only major party who has a policy to reduce fees,' Alliance leader Jim Anderton and Liz Gordon Education spokesperson said

Jim Anderton was addressing Canterbury students in Christchurch today and Liz Gordon was addressing students at Victoria University.

'Parties who are tinkering with the interest on student loans and not addressing the causes of loan debt are being dishonest.

'Fees make up about half of the student loans scheme debt and are the main reason the debt is growing at an alarming rate.

'National has increased fees by an average of $3,000 since they have been government. Max Bradford is running scared on student debt any changes to the student loans scheme announced before the election will be cynical electioneering.

'Act want to double fees with their proposed voucher system. They want to sell student loans to the bank so only those with a good credit rating will get an education.

'Labour used to have a policy of reducing fees to around $1000 but that was abandoned when they released their policy a week ago.

'Students from Auckland to Otago will only have their fees decreased under the Alliance policy.

'The more party votes the Alliance receives the lower fees will go.

'The Alliance will be taking this message to students across the country as Alliance MPs and activists support students in their struggles against huge fee increases,' Jim Anderton and Liz Gordon said.

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