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Student loan repayment threshold still too low

Student loan repayment threshold still too low


The New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) is unimpressed with the new student loan repayment threshold of $15,964, which is only $468 higher than the 2002 threshold.

“Student loan borrowers earning above this low level will be hit with 10% repayments on all their inome above $15,694,” said 2003 NZUSA Co-President Fleur Fitzsimons. “In Australia, payments start only when borrowers earn the average wage and start at only 3% of income above this.”

“A repayment threshold just above benefit levels is a miserly pre-Christmas announcement,” said Fitzsimons. “Our government needs to look to fairer loan schemes overseas and recognise that they are taking loan repayments off some of our lowest earners. Student loan repayments from $16,000 are simply a tax on the poor.”

NZUSA is looking to the long-awaited review of student support to offer some hope to low-income earners with student loans.

“Government promised at the election that they would overhaul the loans scheme to make it fairer. We’ve still heard little, and the new repayment threshold will apply until April 2004. How many years do we have to wait to see a fairer system of student support?” asked Fitzsimons.


ENDS

For further information
Fleur Fitzsimons, 2003 NZUSA Co-President
Cell: 021 899 430

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