Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Student Debt Warning Set To Arrive 16 Years Early

21 June 2002

Auditor-General’s Student Debt Warning Set To Arrive 16 Years Early

Two years ago, the Auditor-General noted that “by 2024 approximately 17.5% of the working age population will be repaying a student loan.” (Report of the Controller and Auditor-General on the Student Loan Scheme, 2000).

Earlier this week, the Aotearoa Tertiary Students’ Association (ATSA) announced that nearly one in ten of all New Zealanders already have a Student Loan. This is equal to over 13% of the current working age population (people aged between 15-64).

ATSA President, Julie Pettett, announced today that “if nothing is done to arrest the growth of this absurd scheme, we estimate that the Solicitor-General’s 17.5% prediction will confront the New Zealand working population by the end of 2008, fully sixteen years ahead of forecast.”

By 2019, when total student debt will exceed $19 billion, ATSA has calculated that nearly one in every four (23.4%) of the working age population will be grappling with their own personal Student Loan debt. “We cannot afford to mortgage the future lives of so many people because of a short-sighted unwillingness to face this scheme,” Pettett said. “This does not just affect students – it is a national scandal. Unless the next government has the gumption to honestly face the issue quickly, New Zealand society will be confronted by a problem of monstrous size.”

ATSA makes no apology for labelling student debt a time bomb. “People must be made aware of the enormity of the problem,” Pettett stated. “The media has a responsibility to look closely at the wider economic impact of student financial support. Only when the debate becomes open and honest can we hope to see real movement towards a sustainable solution.”

ATSA estimates that nearly one third of Student Loan borrowing is used for basic living expenses. “The first step towards chaining the debt would be the introduction of a Universal Student Allowance,” Pettett said. “We applaud the Alliance for proposing such a system in their tertiary education policy.”

“If the next government moved towards the introduction of a Universal Student Wage, it would significantly defuse the danger of Student Loan debt exploding in the very near future,” Pettett concluded.


Note: The sources and methods used to calculate the estimations in this release are available on request from ATSA. Email: research@atsa.org.nz

For further comment, contact: Julie Pettett, ATSA National President Cell phone 029 939 1417

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Press Conference: Pike Re-Entry Agency

At today's post-cabinet press conference Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was joined by Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little to announce plans for the new agency for re-entry of the mine.

The Pike River Recovery Agency, Te Kahui Whakamana Rua Tekau ma Iwa, will be officially established on 31 January 2018 and will work with the Pike River families with the intention of manned entry of the drift before March 2019. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election