Zen Tiger says it best

[Imported from Whale Oil Beef Hooked on Blogger]

I was reading DPF’s blog on transparency when I came across this post by Zen Tiger. It is superb, so superb that I have decided to post it here for all to read. Whilst not an ACT supporter myself, I have refused to edit it. Thank you Zen for putting it such an easy to understand way. Unfortunately the left are so enamoured with their own voice and utterly bereft of any conscience or ideas that they will fail to see the logic.

I believe students need to take responsibility for the money they borrow, which is given by all working people through taxation.

I also believe there is good cause to fund students and educational institutions to keep the costs down, especially if the students benefit our economy down the line.

However, providing interest free loans on the last 30% of the fees plus whatever else the student can borrow (and they do – I’ve seen reports of debts up to $60,000) is the wrong way to go.

It’s also unfair to all of the students that have worked hard to pay their loans off early, and foregone other luxuries. There is no reward for those people, in fact the assumption appears to be if you manage to work your way through university, you are a rich bastard. If you owe thousands you are a poor under-privileged person requiring even more help. That stereotype is unfair.

It is also unfair to imply that non-students are not a benefit to the economy. All efforts of the thousands of non-degree qualified people that have provided excellent working input into this country simply see them shoulder a bigger taxation burden to put some-one else through university. That is not necessarily begrudged by people, but they have to pay interest on their personal investments but students don’t. That is very elitist.

There are many other ways to fairly help students FURTHER than the present system. The interest free loan scheme has more loopholes and negative side effects to be happy with the one positive of helping students reduce long term debt. And even that positive is tempered with the likelihood that students will seek to minimise repayments of the loan in favour of purchasing a nicer car with their new high paid job.

Logix – you made the point that so what if it costs a billion dollars instead of Labour’s estimated 300 million.

That is the same logic that says “so what if Te Wananga spent 7 million taxpayer dollars on a Cuban Literacy program? So what if TVNZ spent $52,000 on a party? So what if we funded 20 million dollars on a Polynesian Radio station reaching under 1% of NZ? So what if it cost 9 million dollars for a Maori sing along programme?

The point is tax payers are entitled to get value for money. NINE MILLION DOLLARS is a lot of money to teach people to sing, compared to those that can’t get more than a taxi drive by when their life is on the line. Maybe there is a way to reach those people for 4 million dollars?

I notice whenever people point out the cost, the reaction is extreme: Oh, so you want to pay NO TAX? Oh, so you want only RICH STUDENTS to study? Oh, so you want to let people die on waiting lists when we cut health spending?

NO NO NO. Labour added 3.5 billion to Health, and the waiting lists are longer.

In this discussion, it is very relevant to question the benefit to the tax payers as a whole to use THIS SCHEME to help students.

It might be a good idea at 200 million. It becomes suspect at 600 million. It is scandalous at 1 billion. It becomes criminal at 1.5 billion.

Taxpayers have to budget and make choices over expenditure for their families. So too should government. That is what Cullen tried to set the budget on, and by his own rules, he shows his hypocrisy.

The ACT party have promoted significant Tax Cuts as a method to stimulate growth, increase spending and therefore improve tax take via the money circulation. It was costed by the RBNZ, and found to generate growth by an extra 1%. That was big enough to make it affordable without any cuts to present services. Any working student would have found MORE money in their pockets to offset debt. This Government doesn’t want to enter the costing game, because they know this will not help with economic growth. Ultimately, I am not even sure it will help students in the collective sense.

Posted by ZenTiger at July 30, 2005 02:03 PM

 


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