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National Running Scared

MEDIA RELEASE 7 OCTOBER 1999

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NATIONAL RUNNING SCARED

The National Party's leaked paper on student loans has proven what students have been saying for the last nine years - the Student Loan Scheme is out of control and National doesn't want to admit it.

"As the election draws near National is moving into panic mode," said Aotearoa Post-compulsory Student Union President John Barkess. "Finally after nine years of brushing off our concerns it appears they are taking the public pressure seriously enough to at least consider changes."

Even with this document in the public forum Max Bradford is still saying that the under funding of the tertiary sector, which is at the heart of the problem, is not a government issue. Last night on TV 3 News he said that the recent fee rises at Canterbury University "…were an issue between students and the universities…"

"The fact of the matter is, Mr. Bradford, that if the government had listened to students and institutes years ago, fees wouldn't have risen as high, debt wouldn't have risen as high and National would be looking at more than six weeks left in government."

"To even think of trying to push changes through at this stage amounts to nothing more than electioneering. Parties in power should be held accountable for the atrocities they have committed upon our society and a last minute cop out should be recognised for what it is," said Barkess.

"National and their minions have sat by and watched the 'Debt Monster' grow for nine long years. They have kept it hidden away, fed it on unsuspecting youths and watched with apparent glee as a whole generation of students has been forced into debt. Now the monster is out in the public forum and they are trying to contain the fallout."

"Too little too late from the National Party"

For further comment contact John Barkess 025 756 526 or (04) 498 2501

END


John Barkess President Aotearoa Post-compulsory Students Union john.apsu@students.org.nz Ph (04) 4982501 025 756 526 Fax (04) 4996554 PO Box 10-191 WELLINGTON


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