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Can Shuffling Statistics Serve Students?

8 May 2002

The Christian Heritage Party is acutely aware of the massive investment New Zealand, and especially New Zealand students, have tied up in the Student Loan Scheme. The following chart shows Tertiary students are the second largest borrowings recipient classification.

BORROWINGS (MILLIONS) RECIPIENT PURPOSE
$4,100
Air NZ, Rail, Hospitals, Prisons Acquisitions
$3,900
Tertiary students Loans
$1,800
Hospitals, Housing Corp Debt refinancing
$1,000
SOE’s (including Kiwibank) Capital injection

The Labour-Alliance Government Statistics Minister and Associate Education Minister recently announced funding for the creation of new statistical information on the student loans scheme.

Christian Heritage agrees that timely and reliable statistics are important in managing these very significant assets in the crown accounts. However we also want to see creative use of interest and/or principal write-offs to help direct well-qualified people into critical careers. Interest, or even principal write-offs could be offered for those who enter understaffed or critical career areas such as anaesthetists, science and maths teachers, nurses, etc.

In recent years resources have been made available for individuals on the Unemployment or Domestic Purposes Benefits to receive educational or training grants to enable them to learn or train for employment. It is time to consider using this financial motivation to enable those individuals who are not on a benefit to consider similar financial motivation to learn, train, or enter careers deemed critical for the national good.

While Christian Heritage advocates the phasing out of Student Loans, it supports such creative use of the Student Loan Scheme as an interim measure.


END

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