Written By: - Date published: 10:05 am, August 18th, 2016 - 58 comments
Categories: class war, debt / deficit, tertiary education - Tags: education should be free, student debt, student loans, tertiary education
A right-wing think tank blurts:
The Government has written off $6 billion in interest on student loans in the last decade but a new report says the policy is a poor use of money and should be scrapped.
More than $1.5 million has been lent by the government to students in the last year alone and $602m was immediately written off, said Eric Crampton, head researcher at the New Zealand Initiative.
Yes, that’s the policy. Because $15 Billion in student debt is TOO MUCH ALREADY.
The loan scheme is a poor use of $6 billion and ultimately it’s a subsidy for “upper and middle class households who can afford to pay their own way,” he said.
That is true if and only if tertiary education is populated by the children of “upper and middle class households”, which it isn’t. And if it was, what a sad indictment of education in NZ that would be!
Labour Party education spokesman Chris Hipkins says scrapping interest-free student loans would “reinforce inequity”.
But both National and Labour are agreed – the right wing think-tank has got it wrong and neither party has any intention of getting rid of the scheme.
Crampton says politically the policy is a win and no party at the mercy of voters would want to get rid of it but in terms of increasing the number of students with degrees and the number of poorer students attending – it’s failed on both counts.
However,Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce disputes that and says official figures show 20,800 students completed bachelor degrees in 2008 and since 2012 the number of students has been in excess of 25,000.
He says the issue is about trade-offs and the government has it about right.
And interesting acknowledgement, given the way the Nats howled about interest free loans when Labour introduced them.