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Student Debt Reaches$10 Billion Millstone

Student Debt Reaches$10 Billion Millstone


Debt calculators on student websites all over the country tick over at 10am tomorrow to $10 Billion indicating the cumulative millstone hanging around the necks of New Zealand tertiary students.

“The Government just signed a free trade deal with China worth $350 million a year. That’s the equivalent of 28.5 years worth of value in current student debt and the scary thing is that it keeps growing under the government’s policies with no sign of relief to come,” says ASA President, Brad Heap.

“Until such time as students receive a sensible level of student allowance you’ve effectively mortgaged the country and its future for the space of most home loans. The flow-on effect will be graduates moving out into the market and passing on the cost of their education to the rest of the economy or worse, continuing the brain drain overseas.

“Wouldn’t it make more sense to use some of the massive budget surplus towards properly subsidising the tertiary education sector rather than continuing with the failed policy of user pays? All the government has done is produce a set of highly-educated second-class citizens who won’t meet eligibility criteria for mortgages or bank loans, who will spend the rest of their lives trying to pay off their massive personal debts. It’s sort of creative accounting – moving the debt off the state and onto students and their families and while we continue to argue about the philosophy, the reality is the meter keeps on running.”



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