INDEPENDENT NEWS

Thank you very much for your high student debt…

Published: Wed 14 Sep 2005 09:51 AM
Thank you very much for your high student debt…
Student Debt hits $8 Billion
Student debt today hit $8 billion dollars. OPSA will be issuing its own ‘money’ tomorrow – “redeemable Sept 17” to observe the occasion.
“This debt will have an outrageous effect on the country. There will be a flow on cost to services supplied by graduates, and drive the cost of living higher. The current brain drain overseas will worsen” said OPSA President, Rachel Dibble.
The $8 billion debt milestone comes just one week after a Colmar Brunton poll was released showing that 74% of New Zealanders believe more students should receive a student allowance; Three weeks previously, a similar Colmar Brunton poll found that 76% of New Zealanders think the student loan interest rate is too high.
There are 3 key drivers of debt:- Fees, Allowances (or rather lack of), and Interest. None of the major parties have policy that will decrease this debt.
“Fees are still rising as we go to the polls - Under National fees increased 12% per annum; under Labour this has slowed dramatically – but they are still increasing. – we need fees to be decreasing…” said Rachel Dibble.
The best offer from the two main parties is the welcome wiping of interest:
The interest component of loans means a lower income worker (eg a nurse) can end up paying more for their education than a high income worker who can pay off their debt more quickly (eg a doctor). In reality, many current graduates will die before they have paid their debt off.
“OPSA welcomes the proposed dropping of interest, and encourages voters to elect a government who will meet the country’s education needs…” said Rachel Dibble.

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