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Greens welcome student allowances

13 October 2008

Greens welcome student allowances, shame it took 9 years

The Green Party has welcomed Labour's promise today to phase in universal student allowances, but says that only the Green Party will make sure that Labour delivers on its pledge.

"Labour has had three terms to deliver a package for universal student allowances. Instead, under Clark's leadership, we have seen nearly a decade of students become indebted by an average of $30,000 - for basic costs like rent and food," Green Party Tertiary Education Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

"While I am pleased to see the Government finally release a timetable for the roll out of universal student allowances, I urge students not to forget that it has taken nine years of delay from Labour to get this far, and finally weeks out from an election, they suddenly find they are able to deliver student allowances after all.

"Whoever the next Government is, I look forward to pushing for a debt write-off scheme - so students who are already debt-laden because of Labour's policies can - at the end of studies - write off a year's worth of debt for every year they stay in paid or unpaid full time work Aotearoa," Mrs Turei says. "The Green Party wants to see a country were obtaining higher education is not penalised through debt and having to postpone house ownership, families or other life milestones.

"Investing in the education of New Zealanders is one of the best things this country could do. Very few of today's political leaders had to pay their way through tertiary education, and the Green Party has always said today's students deserve the same decent treatment."


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