Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Student debt level a national disgrace

19 October 2006
Student debt level a national disgrace

The prediction that total student debt will be $12.7 billion by 2014/15 in the Student Loan Scheme Annual Report tabled in Parliament today is a grave reminder of the disservice being done to the current generation of students and graduates, Green Party Education Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

The figures also show that the total amount borrowed increased from $7.5 billion in the 2004/05 financial year up to $8.37 billion last year.

"This is disastrous news for New Zealand," Mrs Turei says.

"We are saddling an entire generation with crippling debt that could impact on all areas of their lives, and it is only going to get worse unless we act now.

"The Government needs to ask itself if it is fair that the same generation that will be required to pick up the slack if we fail to meet our Kyoto targets is also being prevented from entering the housing market, or even starting to save and invest, until they have paid off massive student loans.

"The Government's interest-free loans policy was a good start, but with tertiary fees rising by an average of 4 percent each year and the majority of students ineligible for a student allowance, the level of student debt is going to continue to rise and rise in the foreseeable future.

"We need to stop being so short-sighted and selfish and start to reverse the student debt trend now. This means more than just writing-off interest. It means writing actual capital off the loan balance of students who stay and contribute to New Zealand, and it means a universal student allowance so that students are no longer the only group who are forced to borrow money to meet the basic necessities of life.

"We urge the Government to take this matter seriously and implement these policies before the problem gets any worse," Mrs Turei says.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Worksafe’s Whakaari/White Island Prosecutions Are Good News

Somewhere in Heaven, Helen Kelly must be smiling about Worksafe’s criminal prosecution of 10 firms and three individuals for their roles in the lead up to the Whakaari /White Island tragedy. In tandem with the subsequent coronial inquest, these court proceedings will hopefully culminate in the creation ( finally!) of a central agency to regulate the adventure tourism sector and improve public safety on matters like risk assessment, safety guidelines, inspection, enforcement and injury reporting... More>>


Carbon Neutral Policy: Gov Declares Climate Emergency

The Government has launched a major new initiative to combat climate change that will require the public sector to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. More>>


Pill Testing: Govt Moves On Drug Checking To Keep Young New Zealanders Safer This Summer

The Government will pass time limited legislation to give legal certainty to drug checking services, so they can carry out their work to keep New Zealanders safer this summer at festivals without fear of prosecution, Health Minister Andrew Little ... More>>


WorkSafe: 13 Parties Charged Over Whakaari/White Island Tragedy

WorkSafe New Zealand today filed charges against 13 parties in relation to the Whakaari/White Island eruption in December last year. “22 people have lost their lives in this tragic event. WorkSafe is tasked with investigating workplace incidents to determine ... More>>


Tax: Government Fulfils Election Undertaking On New Top Tax Rate

The Government will today keep its election promise to put in place a new top tax rate of 39 per cent on income earned over $180,000. More>>


Media: Stuff Holds Itself Accountable For Wrongs To Māori

Stuff has today published the results of an investigation into itself, and issued a public apology, for the way the media organisation has portrayed Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, from its first editions to now. Tā Mātou Pono | More>>


Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels