INDEPENDENT NEWS

Labour: Act's tertiary policy recipe for poverty

Published: Thu 7 Oct 1999 12:13 AM
Labour Leader Helen Clark and Labour’s tertiary spokesperson Steve Maharey said today that Act’s tertiary education policy would condemn students to even more poverty than National’s.
“Act’s policy outrage envisages privatisation of student loans and the introduction of vouchers. Labour strongly opposes this approach, as do students throughout New Zealand.
“Act and National believe in passing as much expenditure for tertiary education as possible onto individual students and their families. They care not that students will then spend most of their lives trying to pay back the money they borrowed for their education.
“What is criminal about the Act/National policy is that it is driving huge numbers of young, well educated New Zealanders out of this country because they cannot afford to repay their loans here.
“Act’s policy also is bad news for university faculties like the schools of medicine which have worked so hard to ensure that young Maori and Pacific Island people have a chance to go to medical school and serve their people as medical professionals. Act says that it will not support any system which enables the medical schools to ensure that students from economically disadvantaged groups can gain entry to their courses.
“Overall Act’s tertiary education policy is consistent with its drive to slash public spending and make New Zealand a more miserable user-pays environment in which to live.
“Policies like those of National and Act would ensure that New Zealand never becomes the knowledge-based society which we need to prosper in the new millennium,” Helen Clark and Steve Maharey said.
Contact: David Lewis, press secretary, 025 409 492

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