INDEPENDENT NEWS

Young Labour suggests budget does great disservice

Published: Fri 21 May 2010 04:57 PM
Young Labour suggests budget does great disservice to education sector
With more than $12 million a year removed from kindergarten budgets; 3.4 million dollars sliced from schools and community groups and additional funding for fewer than 100 students in each of New Zealand’s universities, Young Labour is seriously concerned that this years budget has been presented at the expense of New Zealand’s youth.
“While many people will be rejoicing about their perceived gain in wealth through tax cuts across the board, Young Labour is gravely concerned about the lack of emphasis that the National Government has put on funding New Zealand’s youth to better themselves through education” said Young Labour President, Analiese Jackson.
Increasing GST and likely increases in rental prices will be detrimental to young people in New Zealand, particularly those undertaking tertiary qualifications, and will see fewer students able to contribute to New Zealand’s knowledge economy in the future.
“This budget includes several hidden costs to students. Not only will course fees increase by 4% annually, but students will also have to pay additional GST on top of their course costs. Not all students are entitled to student allowances and the proposed 2% increase to student loans to alleviate the increase of costs will only benefit a few students, as many are not eligible for student allowances”
In their 2008 Income and Expenditure survey, The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations indicated that the most common form of accommodation for tertiary students was a rental home or flat, with 50% of students flatting during the year.
“Changes to property taxes combined with the increasing demand for tertiary places will see young people struggle to obtain the 50% pass rate now required to maintain a place in university and to support themselves throughout the year as the cost of living increases." said Jackson
Other changes presented in the budget will have indirect effects on those studying, including changes in funding to Early Childhood Education centres.
Under the new budgetary requirements, the top two funding bands for Early Childhood Education centres will be removed. This means that funding will be taken away from centres where more than 80 per cent of teachers are fully qualified.
This logic puzzles Young Labour, who sees having fully qualified staff as beneficial to the progress of our nation.
“Where is the incentive for employers at Early Childhood Education centres to have a team of fully qualified staff? Not placing any value on those who have elected to qualify in their chosen profession will be damaging to the quality of education received by both childcare employees and small children alike” said Jackson.
Young Labour urges the National Government to start placing value on education across the board and to seriously reconsider stripping so much funding away from New Zealand’s education system in future.
ENDS

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