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The New Write - 30th January 2001

THE NEW WRITE

The Official Newsletter of the New Zealand Young Nationals

30th January 2001

“A Conservative is a man who sits and thinks, mostly sits.”
-Woodrow Wilson

1. LABOUR TO BLAME FOR STUDENT DEBT BLOWOUT
2. REACTION FROM OTHER PARTIES
3. UK OE UNDER THREAT
4. GEORGE BUSH'S TOP TEN PIECES OF ADVICE FOR GRADUATES
5. WEBSITE OF THE WEEK

1. LABOUR TO BLAME FOR STUDENT DEBT BLOWOUT

Young Nationals Chair Grant Tyrrell today laid the blame for the out of control student debt levels squarely at the door of the Labour government.

"During the 1999 election student groups campaigned on a debt figure of $3 billion. This amount was accumulated over seven years of the loan scheme being in place. It is estimated that by election time, and after just three years of a Labour government, this will almost have doubled to around $5.9 billion."

"Labour ignored the fiscal realities of removing interest from loans - if you offer people free money they will take it! In the first year of interest free loans applications for a loan increased by almost 50%. The near doubling of debt under this Labour government is a sad indictment of its willingness to purchase votes at any cost."

"The Labour government has ignored the root cause of student debt which is living costs. Young Nationals believe that it is a massive inequity that student allowances are judged on the income of their parents. It is simply ridiculous that graduates with the same degree and the same earning potential are entering the work force with vastly different debt levels. The failure to address this inequity is a significant blight on the governments of the last ten years."

"Young Nationals do not believe that "free education" is an appropriate solution. This ignores the very real personal gain attached to tertiary education. The taxpayer subsidises almost three-quarters of a student's course. This is a very adequate recognition of the public good of having an educated society."

"Young Nationals believe that innovative policies are required to combat the mountain of student debt including interest relief for post-graduates who work in New Zealand and subsidised repayment schemes for working in critical, and currently understaffed, areas such as rural health care."

"The Labour government can continue to pay lipservice to its student policies but for those of us struggling under rapidly increasing debt it is no more than hot air," Grant Tyrrell concluded.

2. REACTION FROM OTHER PARTIES

Alliance leader and deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton New Zealanders should be prepared to meet the cost of free education.

"As with the health system, New Zealanders shouldn't complain that the government doesn't spend enough unless they are also prepared to accept responsibility for increasing the resources that the Government has available.

"Those who oppose the student debt burden also need to put their hands up and volunteer to pay the tax necessary to make education free."

However ACT leader Richard Prebble rubbished this proposal. "Few university students will support Jim Anderton's proposal that, in return for three years free tertiary education, they should give the government half their income for life.

"The trouble with the student loan scheme is that it's badly designed. The government's offer of free interest while studying has encouraged students to double their debt. It's easy to get a loan but the difficulty is in repaying it after graduation.

"The answer is not to increase taxes, as Mr Anderton suggests, but to lower taxes. In fact, Mr Anderton's proposal to raise taxes will make it even more difficult for young people who've already left university to repay their debt," Mr Prebble said.

2. UK OE UNDER THREAT

The British Government looks set to cut the time limit for working visas by a year for young New Zealanders.

Presently New Zealanders aged 17 – 27 can receive a two year visa as long as they don’t work in their professional area.

Ana Hensley, publisher of UK Recruitment, says the change will probably be announced in a few months. "While there has been no official word that these changes are definite, all unofficial sources I have spoken to indicate that this is all but definite.

"Any young Kiwis or Australians intending to apply for a working holiday visa should do so now."

Helen Clark said that Britain should remember contributions New Zealand has made over the years, and the employment effects.

"Young New Zealanders, Australians, Canadians and others have probably been picking up the jobs round London that no one else wanted to do for years.

"What would happen if you cut them back? You might actually end with a labour shortage in the service areas."

4. GEORGE BUSH'S TOP TEN PIECES OF ADVICE FOR GRADUATES

1. "You can't expect to function on less than 16 hours of sleep per night."

2. "If you don't know a foreign leader's name, call him 'Pierre'"

3. "If you're not making more than your professors two years from now, you're doing something wrong."

4. "The internet is a great place to find speeches you can pass off as your own."

5. "Drinking and partying all the time will jeopardize your future...yeah right!"

6. "I've always wanted to do this: Now batting for the Rangers, #3, Alex Rodriguez!"

7. "If you're a male cheerleader, destroy all photographs of yourself."

8. "Do any of you want to be president -- I'm already sick of it."

9. "Don't challenge my mom Barbara to a fistfight. She'll kick your ass."

10. "Move to Mexico because I'm gonna run this country into the ground!"

Thanks to Dave Letterman, www.cbs.com/lateshow/top_ten

5. WEBSITE OF THE WEEK

www.realbeer.co.nz

Self-expanatory, lots of features and articles about sweet, sweet beer.

Any views expressed here are not necessarily those of New Zealand Young Nationals, or the New Zealand National Party.

Contributions, feedback, articles and subscriptions welcome. Email newwrite@national.org.nz

Editor: Phil Rennie

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