Only ACT supports a serious conversation with millennials
National’s defence of the failed interest-free student loan scheme leaves only ACT prepared to discuss the policy.
“Today’s New Zealand Initiative report confirms what ACT has believed all along," says ACT Leader David Seymour. "The
2005 decision to remove all interest from student loans was a cynical bribe that has not made access more equal or
millennials better off.
“The loan scheme does nothing to assist students struggling to move up from poorly-performing secondary schools. The
scheme instead gives a subsidy to those students who have already succeeded in gaining university entrance, and who are
statistically going to be earning far more than average. We should instead be targeting spending towards areas of
“The question for millennials is what sort of policy will our generation support: vote buying and deception, or asking
hard questions about tertiary spending? Do you want to pay for your own education once, or pay for others’ bad decisions
for the rest of your tax paying career?
“In 2005 National had the courage to call the policy a bribe. By 2008, under John Key, they’d changed their tune, saying
it was too hard politically to scrap the policy. Now Stephen Joyce is flat-out defending the scheme, showing National
has come full-circle from a party of principle to a party of expediency.”