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Tell the real story Mrs Shipley!

Labour
2000 web siteA new student loan report out today shows that Jenny Shipley is completely misrepresenting the number of students with student loans, Labour associate education spokesperson (tertiary) Steve Maharey said.

"We've all heard Jenny Shipley criticise Labour's policy of no interest on student loans for full-time students while they are still studying. She says that it is unfair because only half of students have a loan while 'some students work or their mums and dads support them'.

"Today's report shows that Mrs Shipley is only telling part truths. In fact, more than 70% of full-time students take out student loans.

"The 'half' that Mrs Shipley refers to is the proportion of all students who take out loans, including part-time students.

"It's a significant difference. There were more part time student eligible for loans last year than full-time students but their take-up rate was less than 20%. Part time students also borrowed on average less than half of what full-time students borrowed.

"The average amount borrowed by full-time students each year increased by nearly 60% between 1992 and 1998 to $6,311.

"National are trying to paint a picture that student debt is not a problem. They are wrong. Around the country, young people are being forced into a 'mortgage without a house' in order to get a job.

"Student debt now totals $3.44 billion and the Government has the gall to call that 'a significant government asset'," Steve Maharey said.

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