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Tertiary Fee Increases Bad News For Everyone

Recent inflation statistics show that tertiary fee increases are bad for everyone, said the national student organisations today.

The increase in inflation for the March 2000 quarter was the highest for over four years and according to Statistics New Zealand, a major contributor to this rise in the cost of living was tertiary tuition fee increases. By Statistics New Zealand figures, the cost of education and childcare is now 7.4% higher than at the same point last year.

“When the previous Government introduced the ‘demand-driven’ funding system in 1998, officials claimed that it would put ‘downward pressure’ on fees”, said David Penney, National President of the Aotearoa Post-Compulsory Student Union (APSU), “These figures clearly show that this claim was false.”

“The inflation figures also demonstrate that fee increases hurt not just students and prospective students, but also the general community,” said Sam Huggard, Co-President of the New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA), “For example, the Consumer Price Index is one of the most important economic indicators used to set and forecast interest rates. When the CPI increases dramatically, it’s a pretty safe bet that people will end up paying more for home loans and other essentials.”

“We have long argued that tertiary fee reductions will have a broad range of benefits for the community,” said David Penney, “We hope that the new Government will begin to deliver these benefits in the upcoming Budget,” concluded Sam Huggard.

ENDS

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