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No Prime Minister, it’s actually on us!


No Prime Minister, it’s actually on us!

27 OCTOBER 2017

There is no such thing as a free lunch, or a ‘free’ tertiary education," points out the Taxpayers' Union Spokesman, Jordan Williams, responding to media comments by the Prime Minister that high school student can start their tertiary study next year for “free”.

"Labour's policy reaches into the pockets of the disadvantaged, to line the wallets of the future’s wealthy,” says Williams.

“Last night Fairfax ran a headline ‘Jacinda Ardern to high schoolers: Next year's on me’. What she really means is ‘Next year’s on the taxpayer’.”

In August, the Taxpayers’ Union released a briefing paper examining Labour’s "zero fees" policy, Robin Hood Reversed: How Free Tertiary Education Robs Today’s Poor for Tomorrow’s Rich. The key findings of the paper were:

• Taxpayers already cover 84 percent of the cost of obtaining a tertiary degree.

• The average household currently pays $2,456 in tax per year to fund tertiary education.

• Fully implemented, Labour's proposal would increase that cost by $852.57 per year.

• Low and middle-income earners will pay more to subsidise tomorrow's rich.

• Likely effects of the policy, based on the experience in Scotland with its zero fees policy, include:

o more job shortages in crucial skills-based areas,

o lower quality tertiary education,

o less access to education for students from disadvantaged or low socioeconomic backgrounds,

o less social mobility and entrenched income inequality.

The report is available at www.taxpayers.org.nz/robin_hood_reversed.


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