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Nothing New From Shipley

Jenny Shipley today "announced" changes to the Student Loans Scheme, the same changes that were announced on the 16th of December 1998. Shipley promised a 25% reduction in interest while studying from the year 2001 and 50% of repayments to go to the principle of a loan.

"These are token efforts," said APSU Student Union President John Barkess. "We need action now, not in 2 years time. All the other changes to the Loans Scheme, those that hurt students, were implemented immediately. Why are we waiting for 2 years before students get assistance?"

"We have not yet seen any proposed legislation to make this happen, National have had 10 months to move on this and all they have managed is a half arsed speech which promises much but they are delivering nothing."

The total cost of the 25% reduction of interest while studying is estimated to be 15 million dollars. At present interest is accruing at the rate of approximately half a million dollars a day. Therefore the government is fore going only one months total interest.

"This appears to be a desperate attempt to remind people that National are aware they have created a generation of debt and IF they get back in they MAY do something about it."

"Jenny failed to mention in her speech that they government had promised to pay 75% of the cost of tertiary study. They reneged on this promise as they now pay only 72.4% and we expect they will renege on the reduction in interest."

"A more responsible attitude would be to charge no interest while people are studying effective immediately. Anything less is tokenism," said Barkess.

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