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Taxpayers Union wrong on cost of abolishing student debt


Taxpayers Union simply wrong on cost of abolishing student loan debt.

Press Release: New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations
12 September 2014

“The so-called ‘Taxpayers Union’ clearly thought the Internet MANA’s announcement today seeking to abolish student debt was tl:dr (‘too long didn’t read’)”, said NZUSA President Daniel Haines.

This comment is made after Taxpayers Union spokesperson Ben Craven claimed that abolishing student debt would cost $8300 per household and serve to transfer debt from middle-class households to doctor’s lawyers and accountants.

“The student loan scheme is currently in the government’s books at $8 billion, not the $14.2 billion the Taxpayers’ Union cites, and reversing the tax cuts that benefited those high-earners – as Internet MANA proposes – would provide $1 billion per year, some of which could be used for debt relief for those struggling with their student debt burden on low incomes.”

“Student loans affect far more than the 150,000 students at universities, given there are 440,000 tertiary students in New Zealand, and with 725,000 New Zealanders with student loans the benefits would be spread extremely broadly, directly affecting around half of all New Zealand households.”

“In addition, around $100 million per year would be saved if the present means-testing, targeting and student loan collection regimes were abolished, and around $1.1 billion per year would be released into the economy by recent graduates who would be better able to put food on their tables, invest in their businesses, and not have to wait 10 years before they thought about buying houses.”

“If the Taxpayers’ Union was at all genuine then it would be concerned about the extremely high effective marginal tax rates paid by new graduates and welcome the abolition of the targeted taxation that the student loans scheme represents.”


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