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Praise for Labour’s tertiary bombshell

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, February 2nd, 2016 - 29 comments
Categories: labour, leadership, Media, tertiary education - Tags: , , , ,

Bryce Edwards has an interesting summary of reaction to Labour’s bombshell tertiary education policy:

Labour’s return to radicalism

“Radicalism”? Tertiary education was free in NZ up until 1992 – didn’t seem radical then. Tertiary education is free in many European and some other countries round the world – doesn’t seem radical to them.

Labour’s biggest shift to the left in decades seems to be resonating. By and large the reaction has been extraordinarily positive, for what is an incredibly contentious policy. Of course many on the political right have come out strongly against the whole concept, but on the whole there has been a surprising amount of praise for the radical new policy. …

After covering the predictably positive reaction from leftie blogs, Edwards goes on to cover media reaction:

If praise from the left isn’t surprising, then the generally positive response from political journalists should be. Mostly the media pronounced the radical policy to be a strong one. TV3’s Patrick Gower awarded it an “A” – see: Good marks for Labour’s new tertiary education policy. He declared it “one of the better policy announcements I’ve seen Labour make in quite some time” …

The Herald’s Audrey Young also thinks the policy “will be popular” – see: A vow, a hope and a prayer. She has more praise for it, saying “It shows Labour has a plan at a time of rising insecurity over the future of work. …  If it is a bribe, it will be a deeply researched one, not just policy on the hoof.” And on the cost of the policy, Young says, it’s “not unrealistic.”

Parallels have been drawn with Labour’s electorally-successful 2005 interest-free student loans policy – notably by Vernon Small in his column, Labour looking to the past to plan the future?. Small sees this policy as also having potential: “it will likely have the generational cross-over appeal that characterised the 2005 promise. … . After Little’s “year of consolidation” in 2015, it is the first big policy in what he has promised will be a year of policy and ideas.” …

Long-time politics watcher Richard Harman also sees the policy winning votes and helping differentiate Labour … If, as looks likely, unemployment is still high in 2017, Labour’s policy might find a surprising amount of support” – see: Andrew Little goes on the front foot. Harman views the announcement as “part of a much bigger redefinition of the party’s economic policies.”

Read the full piece for plenty more, and for the predictable right-wing negativity (most of it written, as I predicted yesterday, by those who received a free tertiary education themselves and want to deny a younger generation the same right so as to pocket a tax cut instead).

For other reaction (and in some cases interesting numbers that highlight the extent of the student loan problem and the need for action) see also:
RNZ with Labour’s announcement welcomed and slammed
ONE News with Mixed response to Labour’s free tertiary education policy
The TEU with Three years study is an investment in hope
And Newshub’s Labour unveils free education plan

Finally, for a bit of harmless fun:

tertiary-poll

29 comments on “Praise for Labour’s tertiary bombshell”

  1. vto 1

    I’m sure it will be liked by everyone except right wing baby boomers who are pulling the ladder up behind them, and right wing office-bound youngsters who lack any useful life experience. That would be about it.

    • Puckish Rogue 1.1

      I’m sure Max Key won’t mind taking advantage of this scheme if Labour get in

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        He won’t be eligible: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11513568

        “The Prime Minister’s son is studying commerce and property at the University of Auckland.”

        • Puckish Rogue 1.1.1.1

          Ah well substitute any rich person with a school age kid and you get the same result

          The rich and middle class get their kids tertiary education paid for

          • Anno1701 1.1.1.1.1

            “The rich and middle class get their kids tertiary education paid for”

            and why not..fairs fair, class should be no barrier

            mind you given the state of the feckless rich in this country I cant see them doing very well free or not …

            I mean why even try if mum/dad have that job lined up for you with a friend/relative any way

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.2

            Rich peoples kids already get an almost free education because the rich dodge taxes. This allows them to claim that they have fuck all income and thus their children get the Student Allowance and don’t actually have to borrow to live like most other students.

            Of course, everyone should get a free education. What we shouldn’t have is the rich.

          • Ch-ch Chiquita 1.1.1.1.3

            So what? They pay taxes and are entitled to see their taxes work in favour of their family. And it will be very good for everybody else that can’t afford paying the fees.

            • Smilin 1.1.1.1.3.1

              tax is suppose to be for the good of all not a slush fund that the rich get to run by Natcorp

          • McFlock 1.1.1.1.4

            lol

            The three responses above suggest that your blatant appeal to ‘the politics of envy’ failed dismally. It’s almost as if you fell for your own bullshit.

            • Kevin 1.1.1.1.4.1

              Speaking of the ‘politics of envy’, Chris Trotter had this to say:

              “If you’re talking about the poor envying the security of the rich: the certainty that bills can be paid; food afforded; a roof put over their children’s heads; then, yes, of course they envy them. And if Labour’s determination to extend that basic security to everyone is what you mean by the politics of envy – then we plead guilty-as-charged. But if you’re accusing Labour voters of envying those who lack any semblance of empathy, solidarity and generosity towards their fellow citizens, and who see in money and material possessions the be-all and end-all of human existence, then you are dead wrong. For Labour voters do not envy such New Zealanders – they pity them.”

              • McFlock

                Nice turn of phrase.

                • righty right

                  these rich wankers don’t want anyone else getting a home food or an education there rationing resources keeping down the competition pulling the ladder up what ever you want to call it .money is only a claim on goods and services and it all for me me me me me .there a disease that needs to be removed i hope labors next policy is to get tough with tax evaders tax evasion is theft and should be treated as theft if they can arrest a student they arrest and jail these bastards that owe millions

            • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.1.1.1.4.2

              “The politics of envy” is yet another empty slogan the right blurt out, with the intention of shutting down any actual discussion on the very important issue of rich and poor.

              Textbook Crosby Textor.

              • Reddelusion

                Text book Crosby textor is what the left blurt out on any dicussion of actual importance

                • The Other Mike

                  Do you even know Crosby Textor – what they do? And who they work for?

                  Obviously not.

                  Try somewhere else red (again)…

            • Whispering Kate 1.1.1.1.4.3

              It’s commonly known that the wealthy “choose” to pay taxes with very creative accountants and lawyers, too many stories circulate about how they manage their finances so they get Community Services cards and yes I have knowledge of this myself. Also student benefits for themselves or their kids by managing their company expenses so they qualify for them – I have knowledge of this as well. Don’t tell ordinary New Zealanders they, the wealthy deserve the perks of a free education like everybody else – they have been fleecing funds blind for years and milking it for what’s worth. Company car parks, golf fees paid, private insurance looked after – it goes on and on. Why doesn’t the IRD tackle the big bludgers who don’t pay their taxes – because its too expensive and they are untouchable that’s why and too nasty and dangerous to probe, so its put in the too hard basket. Let’s benefit bash instead, its easier.

              And, no, definitely no we am not envious, we live well and definitely are not poor, we have what we want and can sleep at night knowing we have paid our taxes by PAYE for almost 45 years – our conscience doesn’t bother us one bit. It is not politics of envy just disgust at the dishonesty of what goes on around us. Our kids don’t have don’t have a God damn chance with the declining standard of scruples and lack of moral compasses surrounding us.

          • ankerawshark 1.1.1.1.5

            Oh good Puckish rogue, then we can cream off some of the right wing voters. Excellent. Afterall they are likely to vote for things that benefit them….

  2. indiana 2

    Are you sure? It will appeal mostly to the right wing baby boomers and office bound youngsters who want to get a free education in the name of changing their career mid way through their working lives – the ones that got jobs and then managed to move up the corporate ladder with out any qualification in the first place. I fear there are so many unintended consequences of the policy similar to many government policies.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Due to you failing to make any sense wotsoeva I fear that you’re an idiot who simply doesn’t have a fucken clue WTF they’re talking about.

  3. b waghorn 3

    Out of interest if someone had 1 year left in their study at the time this policy is introduced would they be eligible.?

    • weka 3.1

      From what I can tell, at this stage the answer is no but Robertson has said that Labour will be announcing more policy that will address this later. I hope Labour clarify this over the next week, because that was GR on his FB page, which isn’t how policy should be made clear.

      Also, the years 1, 2, 3 free fees is being rolled out over time, not all at once, so I guess someone who only needs 1 year to complete a course will be ok from the first year, but any longer will need to wait. I assume this applies to people eligilble for the whole 3 years i.e. they won’t get them in succession at the start.

  4. Smilin 4

    Fully implemented by 2025: trouble is the damage has had 7 yrs free reign, so far, and thats the cost to nearly a generation of young people, having the overbearing social stigma of a BS education policy from Natcorp severely down grading their social status so that these Keyites can advertise their nothingness
    At least when labour get in it will check the damage and the true cost will emerge and be able to go ahead quicker knowing the teachers and lecturers wont have their pay fucked up for a four year stretch and they might not have to wonder if they have a job because of their politics or opposition to the govt and its absurd reorganisation and down grading of the govt research facilities within the Universities
    Also selling those facilities to some TPPA CORPORATE PLUNDERER .

  5. Iron Sky 5

    Can there be free education? whats the evidence:

    1. Shai Reshef: An ultra-low-cost college degree: The world’s first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited, online, American university (you still have to pay for exams, but still thats a move in the right direction)

    2. In Germany tuition fees have been abolished, while England has the most expensive fees in Europe, with every indication that they are likely to be allowed to nudge even higher.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/education-34132664

    Didn’t even really try to search more than the above or count the thousands of free courses on line (https://www.mooc-list.com). The most precious of which are the ones teaching logic………………………….

    To quote Bob Dylan:

    Come gather ’round people
    Wherever you roam
    And admit that the waters
    Around you have grown
    And accept it that soon
    You’ll be drenched to the bone
    If your time to you
    Is worth savin’
    Then you better start swimmin’
    Or you’ll sink like a stone
    For the times they are a-changin’

    Come writers and critics
    Who prophesize with your pen
    And keep your eyes wide
    The chance won’t come again
    And don’t speak too soon
    For the wheel’s still in spin
    And there’s no tellin’ who
    That it’s namin’
    For the loser now
    Will be later to win
    For the times they are a-changin’

    Come senators, congressmen
    Please heed the call
    Don’t stand in the doorway
    Don’t block up the hall
    For he that gets hurt
    Will be he who has stalled
    There’s a battle outside ragin’
    It’ll soon shake your windows
    And rattle your walls
    For the times they are a-changin’

    Come mothers and fathers
    Throughout the land
    And don’t criticize
    What you can’t understand
    Your sons and your daughters
    Are beyond your command
    Your old road is rapidly agin’
    Please get out of the new one
    If you can’t lend your hand
    For the times they are a-changin’

  6. Chooky 6

    Higher Education Crisis in Neoliberal United States

    …Capitalist Neoliberals eat the young and consume them with debt

    (this is NOT a model New Zealand should follow …but which Labour has followed in the past and Nactional embraces )

    In USA:

    * 7 million students default on college loans

    * $1.2 trillion in student debt

    https://www.rt.com/shows/big-picture/330682-zika-virus-student-debt/

    …and a brief history of student debt in New Zealand

    http://craccum.ausa.auckland.ac.nz/features/a-brief-history-of-student-debt

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/02/01/labours-three-free-years-of-tertiary-education-a-critical-appraisal/

  7. Hugh Wilkinson 7

    Gareth,

    When will the myth that my generation of students received free tertiary education? Yes it is true we did not pay course related costs. However that true statement suffers from what I call the ‘curse of the true statement’. The curse is that one true statement often does not tell the ‘whole truth and nothing but the truth’. A comparison of the cost of student life in my generation and today gives a much more complete picture.

    Firstly we did not receive the student living allowance nor any course related costs. When completing my BA degree in 2005/06, the time interest free loans were being introduced, I calculated that cost of a years BA courses was very similar to 40 weeks student living allowance. On that basis alone current students are no worse or better off than we were.

    Because of the economic times in the 60’s and 70’s the most we could expect from our parents, in my case parent, was free board. All other living costs we had to earn ourselves. Usually this came from lower paid manual labour. Wool store barrow boys, nassella tussock grubbing, hospital cleaning and portering etc. Most of us did not have our own cars, brand clothing or holidays, especially overseas ones.

    As for the policy announced by Labour there is far too little (pun acknowledged) detail to tell whether it is going to be a workable policy in the interest of all New Zealanders. We are told there will be announcements coming and I wonder will these be quickly developed responses to questions raised by the public or part of a well developed encompassing strategy of a practical and economically feasible free education policy.

    Back in 2011 I developed a draft working paper for such a universal free education system that gives potential solutions for the many practical implementation questions currently being asked of the Labour announced policy. I forwarded this plan to the Government and was thanked for my efforts.

  8. Peter Lewis 8

    There is no such thing as ‘free’.

    The cost must be paid by someone, so this policy is actually ‘100% subsidized’.

    In this case, that someone is the taxpayer.

    The policy may well have merit, and therefore should be considered, but don’t try and cloud the issue with the emotional statement that it is ‘free’.

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