Axe interest free student loans says Brash

Don Brash has suggested the government axe interest free student loans in order to assist in paying for the Christchurch re-build.

Former National Party and ACT leader Don Brash says the Government should use the increased cost of the Christchurch rebuild as an excuse to ditch interest-free student loans.

Prime Minister John Key yesterday said the estimated cost of rebuilding the quake-hit city was now $40 billion, up from $30 billion in December. The direct cost to the taxpayer has been bumped up by another $2 billion, but Mr Key said this wouldn’t impact on the Government’s plan to get the books back into surplus by 2014/15.

Speaking on Firstline this morning, Dr Brash said the last Labour Government introduced “a number of very unfortunate spending programmes” which should be cut back.

“National criticised those… but has left them all in place,” he says.

“You’d think with the Christchurch earthquake costing the Government itself an estimated $15 billion, they would have used that to explain to New Zealanders why some of those programmes have to change.” 

The interest free student loan bribe was a particularly egregious election bribe by Helen Clark, and it worked. Unfortunately all the warnings made at the time have come true, and student debt has ballooned massively.

Dr Brash said cutting back on interest-free student loans and superannuation would also offset inflationary pressures additional spending would bring.

“If the Government says, ‘Look, we’ve got to spend more in Christchurch, therefore we have to spend less on interest-free student loans or New Zealand Super’ or whatever, that of course would offset the increased inflationary pressures.

“One of the headaches right now is the export sector is being squeezed, and has been squeezed now for quite some time, in part because government spending has been quite strong, and it’s kept the economy more buoyant than it would otherwise be.”

Despite calling interest-free loans a “big electoral bribe”, Dr Brash says “most people” would now support cutting it back.

“I don’t think there was any ever any great policy justification for waiving interest on student loans,” he says.

Cut it. Now. Time for students to ante-up like the rest of us and take a haircut in order to assist the economy to recover.

 


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  • Meg

    Never going to happen.

    Labour won’t do it, and National know if they do they are 100% dead at the next election.

    Also if you want a sure fire way of driving out the best and brightest from NZ, attack student loans and the ability to get a teriary education in NZ.

  • maninblack

    they never will. students are bludgers. Have a look at the comments on the AUSA facebook page about this.

    • Whafe

      Yep, the mentality that they are owed is now bred into those that are students…

      • Meg

        I suggest you look to the past for that mentality.

        The current student body have it far harder money wise to get through uni than any member of Parl ever did.

        • BJ

          The current students don’t know how to go without – one of my sons included. I don’t see too many of his friends with secondhand or enduring possessions, realistic budgets, eating in or with a good healthy attitude towards the money loaned to them on top of the government subsidies already contributed to post high school educational opportunities. Show me the numbers of students that understand and are humbled that this country supports them financially for study post school

        • Whafe

          It is a struggle to debate this topic with you, fundementally you feel you are owed something and that you should be subsidised to be educated… As I said, your view is up the cacker.
          I urge you to just try and step into the shoes of those for a mere few moments and look at the possibilities if your mindset went towards, I am going to do this myself, invest in me and away you will go, guarantee your achievment resutls will lift…

          • Meg

            It is not about being owed, it is about investing in the country’s future.

            Education is a right and must be accessible for everyone. And given the Government gets almost all the money back, it is a loan, not a give away.

            Sadly too many on the right fail to understand this and would rather sabotage the economic future of NZ in order to save pennies, as opposed to investing to make pounds.

          • Hazards001

            It is not a right. If you want the higher salaries an education provides then pay back SOME of the cost plus the interest. Because Meg…the reality is the fees students pay does NOT cover the costs..those are also subsidised by the taxpayer…that’s me…the kid that had to leave school at 15 and has ground it out in fucking coal mines.

          • Meg

            Guess what, others pay tax too, not just you.

            And many of them understand the investment made, and are not bitter and twisted.

          • Hazards001

            If you want something go get it and pay for..not…”I WANT SOMETHING BUT I ALSO WANT YOU TO PAY FOR IT!”

            You’re a typical bludger!

          • unsol

            Aah Hazard that is a circular argument; you were no doubt born in a public hospital (maybe about $5k if uncomplicated?)& probably went to a State school, like most of us, for the 10 years you were there (roughly $150,000). Then there is your use of public roads & infrastructure as welll as your super -$357 nett per week x average life post retirement of 20 years = a whopping $371,280 & no doubt counting.

            So all up you are likely to have used close to maybe $700k or more of public services.

            Unless you have & continue to pay at least $20k p/a in taxes until you retire (or earn an average of around $80,000) then you are not paying your way either.

            Student loans, like subsidized teritary education, especially in skilled/professional degrees like dentistry, medicine, nursing, law, physiotherapy, teaching etc, translate into services we all get to benefit at one time or another.

            To not give everyone who has the ability the chance to pursue these professions means we miss out. We just get people who are born with silverspoons in their mouths. Like it used to be (think 100 years ago – only the rich were doctors & lawyers etc).

            I am not sure you are aware of this, but a waffly degree like BCom or BA cost $18k p/a – NZ students pay only $4k. Dentistry it is around $55k – NZ students only pay about $14k.

            It is really expensive to get a degree so without subsidies &
            govt loans I doubt most would be able to afford it.

          • Hazards001

            wrong wrong and wrong.. was actually born at home on the West Coast of South Island went to private schools and left at 15 to support family plus I was paying more than 20k in tax in 1985…were you? and I’ve always been in the high income earner tax brackets..you need to be careful that don’t associate me with what I say I am..and have done with what I do now. I’ll always be a coal miner and bulldozer driver…that doesn’t mean I am now.
            You however are by your own admission a nett taxpayer only on the back of your husbands work.
            How much have you cost me?

          • Hazards001

            As for the cost of education that was my point,it’s already subsidised…and Meg would prefer that the people on the receiving end of my largess don’t pay a brass razoo more than the upfront cost of their poxy papers? Explain to me how a dollar given = a dollar returned 12 years later?(If ever)

            Just like the gay marriage thing you are once more looking out for yourself..in this case your progeny I assume?
            Why should I subsides them? You have never and never will subsidise me!

          • Meg

            And right there is the difference.

            I believe EVERYONE deserves an opportunity to better themselves. You believe on the rich do.

          • Meg

            Private school eh. Funded by the government you commie.

          • Hazards001

            You flea brained fuck wit. My mother was a widow with a small inheritance from my father. When I went to school a private education was fully funded by the schools supporters. State funding didn’t happen until years after I’d left school.

            And I never said education was for the rich you illeterate twat. I said those that want higher education and don’t want to swing a shovel like I did should pay the minimal costs imposed. Why should someone get to leave school a doctor or lawyer on my taxes and only pay back the up fronts costs?

          • unsol

            Good to know Hazard. And if that’s the case then you should be really proud of yourself – what an example for your kids eh. Huge kudos!

            But no you have misinterpreted what I have said previously. I have said that I was a net taxpayer before I became a mother, where my income funded my husband’s ability to earn the money he does now. So but for me there would be no high earning him.

            In addition to that I am still a net taxpayer as I do some work – for his business but it still work! I am self-employed & still pay sufficient tax to cover my individual cost on society with the shortfall being covered by my own private super scheme & health insurance etc

          • Hazards001

            Why would I be proud of myself? Because I’m not. I earned good money by working long hours in dangerous and heavy jobs for years..which as an FYI is where the handle came from..given by co workers years ago. (It was meant as a put down not praise too..if you wanted something done that might kill somebody..get that bloke to do it!)

            With the numerous injuries that go with the territory I had finally to move into new roles…fortunately for me my life experience has counted and I managed to move into senior management roles in and around my practical experiences..this is not a result of anything special about me…it just is…nothing to be proud of. Changed cos I had too.

            And good for you too…it’s actually really cool that people are doing well in their businesses here and proud of their efforts. Long may it continue. Which of course is why I come to WOBF!

            EDIT: Had to use the edit function cos disqis is being a twat again!

          • unsol

            You got a random downer on yesterday’s post….such people are just dickheads!!!

            You’re way too hard on yourself Hazards. Got to always count your blessings; be proud of what you have achieved, overcome & the example you set for your kids. And re your job – someone always has to do it & you did so sorry, kudos remains in place!

            Many people have the spine of a jellyfish so fall off in the smallest puff of wind

            Btw – 1985 I was at primary school :-)

          • Hazards001

            I was 8 when IRD issued me my tax number..unheard of in those days as only income earners were taxed not bank accounts. I earned an income and the farmer declared it…had to get a tax number..lolol

            The down voter is my personal troll..I suspect it’s a person that offered to punch my head in on here but when I offered to give the weasel the chance he backed down…then again it could be some other tit…who knows or cares lol

          • unsol

            Ha they’ve done it again – what a tosser! And how nice they offered to assault you. Some people are all class. And this is only cyberspace after all. How dumb!

            I don’t know if I had an IRD number as a kid – not sure if you needed one for a banking account. From age 12 i did things like local paper round as a kid (on my bike – dying or dead occupation now!) & worked part-time as a milk hand (got those milking sheds spotless) etc plus did heaps of things like picking berries, peas, squash etc. I think I had to pay tax/parents had to fill out an IR5 (remember those!) at some point but not sure when it started. All fun & games eh :-)

          • Hazards001

            You would have had to pay tax.
            hehehe even at 8 I resented it :-D

          • Meg

            I am never amazed at the inability of some people to break through their ideology brainwashing and see the truth.

          • Mediaan

            Save it for the First of May Parade, dearie.

          • Liberty

            “Guess what, others pay tax too, not just you.”

            The great bulk of tax payers are tax negative . As in the state spends far more on them than what is received in tax.

            It is only around 10% of tax payers that are not a drain on the state.

          • Meg

            Actually education in this and many countries is a right under the law.

          • Mediaan

            Rights, that is an invented term. Defined nowhere.

          • Mediaan

            “Investing in the country’s future”!
            Please try to understand that most mature working people have experienced how totally useless recent graduates are. Not as useless as teenagers just out of school, but a real problem to get useful results out of.

            It’s after they’ve done a bit in the real world they start to get the benefit of the education on top of the real life experience. Then, if all goes well, they surge ahead.

          • Meg

            Scoff all you like.

            In the very neat future only the lowest paid jobs will be accessible to those without a Uni education.

        • Mediaan

          You are guessing and making it up. Did you not do any tertiary education? You should have had that knocked right out of you in Term I of Year I.

      • Mediaan

        Coming from the teachers. Not bred in.

  • Saccharomyces

    Do it, let the little bludgers finance their own education. If they want state financial input then they can expect to output financially for the state later (e.g.pay interest).

    Of course what the student body don’t understand is that by making education relatively cheap all they’re doing is devaluing education.

    • tarkwin

      Dead right. They’re advertising massage courses up here at the moment, student loans available. You used to learn that in your first week at the parlour.

      • Mediaan

        Wow, opportunity for massage parlours. Diversify into workplace education providers.

  • Whafe

    So Meg, you think the government and peopl eof NZ should subsidise a quality tertiary education?
    See for me your mind set is all up the cacker…. My getting a quality tertiary education, I am able to earn a higher salary. With that being the case, of which I knew, I invested in my quality tertiary education… As soon as I finished studying for my quality tertiatry education, I got a loan from the Nationalbank and paid off my student loan and the as quick as possible paid the National Bank back!
    Seriously, this inbred banjo player mentality that the state is responsible for you is killing NZ….

    • Meg

      Yes I do.

      Because those who get those degrees tend to earn more, spend more, pay more taxes, which far outstrips what they borrow or any subsidies the Government give.

      Too many people do not look far enough ahead, They see a quick buck to be made without considering that there is more money to be made in the long run by helping students now.

      I also find it rich that the same generation who got so much for so little in the way of tertiary education want to make it has hard and as expensive as possible for the current generation to go through Uni.

      Plenty of other places we can cut, without cutting off our nose to spite our face.

      • Whafe

        I can assure you, I am not from the generation I think you are referring to.
        So do you think that the way in which a country spends it’s money should not be adapted to what is fiscally responsible etc etc? It is noo different ourselves personally, have to adapt… Nothing more constant than change..
        Please enlighten me with other places we can cut?

        • Meg

          Defense, subsidies to multi million/billion dollar companies, look at and reduce CEO salaries of SoE’s, reduce the cost of running Parl, cap MP salaries, private schools want to be private great, no public funding, and yes increase the taxes of the top 20% of earners.

          That is just a few off the top of my head, but given all the info the Government has at their fingers I assure you it would be very simple to off set the cost of IF SL and then some.

          And it is fiscally irresponsible to make tertiary education only accessable to the wealty.

          • Mediaan

            Utter rubbish.

            MPs earn less than the top several thousand of civil servants.

            Defence is staggering along on a tight budget, and turning out top results, I might add, nonetheless. Stunning quality, the young people we see in defence work.

            CEO salaries are at the mercy of the world market.

            Yep, there’s a lawn at the back of parliament could be put down in potatoes…

          • Meg

            How typical. Oh no we cannot make any savings, we must punish students instead.

            Just as well it will never happen. IF SL are safe for generations to come.

          • Bafacu

            How do you get paying interest on a loan as punishment. I borrow from anyone else I pay interest on that (fair enough to as they forsake investing those funds into other areas) so why not students when they leave the Universities? Not punishment just reality.

          • unsol

            Exactly. Whether borrowing money for education or for buying a house, both are a blessing & a privilege that you will benefit from if you are smart (pay back as soon as you can, don’t borrow more than you need & capitalise on any gains – e.g. use the grad status to get your foot on any ladder, put those critical thinking skills you should have acquired at uni to good use, work hard, up skill in the job & you will get promoted).

          • Mediaan

            Face up to it, Meg. It was an election bribe by Labour. They knew a great deal of it would get spent in bars and clubs, because students party a lot, so it pleased their booze lobby as well.

          • Meg

            I disagree 100%. And National know what will happen to them if they even sniff in that direction.

          • Mediaan

            Are you happy to remove student help for those in retirement, then, and those on courses not related to job enrichment?

            Like the whinging superannuitant in Christchurch who last week complained to the media. Rises in super had put him into the bracket of having to pay back some of his 1999 student loan.

            Oh, what a caterwauling he set up. Having to pay the “loan” back in part!

            He did actually have a job for ten years of his life, he groused. Most of the rest he was unemployed or on a benefit for caring for his mum.

          • Meg

            Yes, how awful of him to care for his mum. Sick bugger.

            But to address your actual point, I do think there needs to be limits set. There are people who just get loan after loan, degree after degree and do nothing. That must be stopped.

            I also agree that particular studies should be self funded.

            As for the retirement issue. I am not for 100% refusal. Most of those people have paid their taxes, served their country etc… I would suggest a means test for that group. Those who can pay, should. Those who cannot can get help, with the understanding that there is no threshold for non payment. They start repaying the debt as soon as they are finished, even if it is just a few dollars a week off their pension. And upon their death, any revenue from their estate must be used to pay off the student loan.

          • Tony

            Meg – it is spelt ‘Defence’. Tell me why Defence needs cuts please? Tell me what the mission is and tell me how we can achieve the mission with less funds.

      • Mediaan

        I am so tired of this lie.

        No, I and my generation paid for any tertiary education we got. There was a state grant which partly established uni buildings and basic courses, so there was a University standing there.

        But all the fees and books and living expenses were paid by one’s own family savings or part-time working.

        • Ducktype

          You must have done poorly at school since I seem to recall anyone with A or B bursary got their fees paid and had enough each week to not need a part time job! I remember being able to save everything I earned from my part time job at Chelsea Sugar works.

          • Mediaan

            I had no bursary or allowances, correct. And, furthermore, women were on a much lower pay scale than men.

        • Meg

          No, it isn’t a lie.

          Just a rather inconvenient truth for the generation trying to knee cap current students.

      • BR

        There sure are. There are large numbers of university graduates, “educated” far beyond their level of wisdom who currently occupy positions in government and and council offices. They produce no wealth whatsoever, and for many of them, their most noteworthy achievements include obstructing and impeding those who do produce and generate wealth. Let’s get rid of these overpaid parasites. That will save a great deal of money.

        • Meg

          Excellent. So you will help in voting out National at the next election to get rid of a large group of educated beyond their wisdom.

          Good.

          • BR

            I didn’t vote for National last time. I have only one criteria for voting, and is to keep the left out of power.

            Bill.

          • Travis Poulson

            “I didn’t vote for National last time. I have only one criteria for voting, and is to keep the left out of power.”

            Love it Bill.

          • Meg

            That is a bit on the stupid side.

            At the very least you should vote for a party you have something in common with. But given that you hate the left, which to a small degree includes National, I guess voting for anyone to keep the left out is a reason to vote for a party.

            A very very stupid one, but each to their own.

          • BR

            The party for me is one that will keep it’s hands off my cash( a small amount to defend the country and maintain law and order excepted). There is currently no such party running for parliament.

            Bill

    • unsol

      “I got a loan from the Nationalbank and paid off my student loan and then as quick as possible paid the National Bank back!”

      That doesn’t sound like a good fiscal move to me. The interest rate on the SL – if there was one (it was around 8% when I did my degree in the 90s) – would be far lower so makes sense to just pay voluntary payments rather than take out a new loan.

      I have no issue with the student loan scheme & grads continuing to pay back their loans while working , I just think don’t think it should be interest free.

      And tertiary education does not always mean a higher salary. Depends on what you study. Further, except for skilled/professional positions you can actually work your way up in almost any industry without any further education whatsoever; a good work ethic, initiative & determination cannot be taught in a class room.

  • Justsayn

    As good as it might be it won’t happen. Like the add could have said… having student’s pay their fair share, valuable, taking Don Brash’s political advice, pointless.

  • rangitoto

    Because overseas universities are so cheap compared to local ones. The best and brightest students will be heading to Albania in droves to get their education LOL

    • TomTom

      You can go to Australia and pay domestic fees. You won’t get access to their loans scheme, but by god, Australian unis are better than the shit we got here.

      • Mediaan

        You get out of Uni what you put into it. They don’t have people waiting to shove packets of knowledge inside your brain.

        As a matter of fact, for a lot of people, I’d say (and I now have multiple and postgraduate degrees) just do the first year of Uni and make it a challenging “how to think” one. Philosophy, maths, physics, chemistry, economics, maybe. Stay away from the “instant custard” options like sociology and education.

        Then, you know you can hack it. If you hadn’t done that year, you would find a later starting at Uni incredibly tough.

        Leave, move into the real world. Treat it as further education. Work your butt off in a business that is inspiring to you. Try to learn as much as you can. Later, when you are affluent, take up the postponed degree work.

        After that, you are set..

        Much better way to do it.

  • Harp On

    Meg I would guess that you are also promoting the extension to paid parental leave and any other freebies that you think the tax payers are silly enough to give you. As usual Don is on the money. The most important lesson the best and brightest need to learn is what is the meaning of personal responsibility and self reliance instead of relying on the nanny state to mother them.

    • NotForTurning

      By definition the “best and brightest” are independent of the state.

      Its the bludgers than need to learn:

      `We want to LEARN ’em–learn ’em, learn ’em! And what’s more, we’re going to DO it, too!’

    • Meg

      Yes I am all for extending paid parental leave.

      And if you want to talk about personal responsibility come back when all the private schools pay their own way and get not a cent from the Government.

  • LabTested

    From the time my daughter was born my wife & I each put $50 a month into a bank account for her university. $50×2 x 12 months = $1200 a year x 18 years = $21,600. She is now in year 2 of uni & still has $20k in the bank because she has also been working part time since she was 14. Plus all of the uni holidays.

    We did not expect the government to provide. We took some personality responsibility.

    And before you say we are rick pricks, that is $12.50 a week

    And as a slight aside, both she & my nephew, who is also at uni, worked all through the summer at a number of jobs. There is work out there for students who want it

    • Mr_Blobby

      Only $12.50 a week. I know retards paying $15 a day for there smokes.

      • Meg

        Odds are their kids will never go to Uni.

        • BR

          University is over-rated. There are too many degrees are utterly worthless to any productive employer.

          Bill.

          • Meg

            Guess you never got accepted aye.

          • BR

            I’ve never bothered trying. I have never had any need for it. I’ve watched some of these graduates working. Some are utterly useless. One I know was sacked after a month for incompetence.

            Bill.

          • TomTom

            Actually, a lot of employers demand degrees. You may think a BA in English or History is worthless, but many employers do demand a minimum level of education. Not that I’d go near a BA, thank you very much.

          • BR

            Most of them government or taxpayer funded employers.

            Bill.

          • Mediaan

            Agree. When I think of the most outstanding three people I ever hired, none had a degree.

            One had a chequered but energetic work history, a firebrand, brilliant, but not yet recommended.

            One had been unemployed for more than two years since leaving school with modest attainments, had been on endless government skills courses, a conscientious careful type who was getting nowhere. In the right slot, this person was pure gold.

            The third had been neglected and inactive in the market.

            The last two were long term unemployed.

    • Meg

      Good for you. No sarcasm at all in that either. Well done that you could afford that.

      Now what about the families that cannot afford $1 a month, let alone $50.

      And yes you do expect the government to provide, unless you do not use hospitals, rely on the Police to catch the baddies etc… You simply pick and choose what you rely on the Government to do for you.

      • LabTested

        Sorry Meg. I am calling Bullshit on families that can not afford $1 a month

        I was born in Manurewa. My Mum left school at 14 with no qualifications. By the time she was 30 she was a solo mum with 5 kids aged under 10. This was in the 60’s before the DPB (may have been something else I don’t know)

        I watched that her work nonstop every waking hour. We also did not spend a cent that was not necessary. We grew our own vegetables.

        every Christmas & Birthday we only got 1 present, a book, because mum did not have an education & want us to love books.

        So I know what poverty is like & I call Bullshit on families that could not find $1 a month for their kids education

        • Meg

          The 60’s and now are very different times and we have a government that is very hostile towards the poor.

          I doubt you are in a finical situation to know what real hardship is.

          • LabTested

            No Meg. Now I am not in financial hardship. My mum did not have an education, but she taught me a work ethic & to be frugal.

            You may be flippant about the 60s, but that was my life. How dare you dismiss it as not experiencing poverty.

            You suggest this government is hostile to the poor. I am not going to argue that, but I will ask why Labour is hostile to those who through hard work pull themselves out of the gutter.

          • Meg

            I can dismiss it as not experiencing poverty because unless you were below the poverty line, starving, no food, heat etc… then you did not experience poverty. Even in the 60’s,

            And I am pleased to see, finally, someone on the right accepting that National is hostile towards the poor. And I dispute that Labour is hostile towards the rich given how well off they all are.

          • BJ

            The ‘poor’ used to do their utmost to look after themselves and were humble enough to do anything to provide for their families. We did not have any sense of entitlement.

          • Meg

            And yet if the Government removed societies entitlements you would be amazed how much you rely on entitlements,

          • BJ

            I don’t feel entitled to anything. I think we are bloody lucky in this country to get the core health services, education, law and order, infrastructure etc that we have. Our ‘right’ to free education as far as I am concerned stops about the same time parents stop being legally responsible for their offspring and kids are thinking they are adult so can make their own choices and be responsible for the consciences – like deciding whether to pursue higher education or not, for their future prospects and own goals

        • Agent BallSack

          Don’t feed the trolls. Meg never has to prove anything he/she just says it and expects us to believe it.

      • Mediaan

        Everyone can afford it. As you well know.

        Show me one of these families, that in your words “cannot afford $1 a month”. One that doesn’t run a car, of course. (I could first afford a car when I was 33, and only learned to drive and bought it then because my job demanded I have one.) One that doesn’t buy ridiculously expensive items, like fast foods or booze. Fast foods are for the busy-busy working or the better-off. No Sky of course. I still think Sky ludicrously expensive for what it is.

        If a household does have a child, NZ is so generous that it is impossible to get less than about $450 per week. That is a colossal sum.

      • Liberty

        Why are they breeding?

    • worksux

      nicely done LT, We are doing the same for our 10yr old, Little bugga now has more in his account than i do.

  • Brendan Waugh

    Don’t steal the childrens teddy bear.

    Political suicide.

    Instead

    1) Means test it – if you have the money to pay for uni you don’t need a loan.
    2) Raise repayment rates for high income earners.
    3) Don’t give it to pensioners.
    4) If you fail the course you pay more.
    5) Introduce an inflation correction.
    6) Make them harder to get and only pay for courses which are useful. No more historian courses.
    7) If you leave NZ then we take the money from Kiwisaver and use it to pay of your loan.
    8) Divert employer contributions and government tax credits from Kiwisaver to pay of student loan (without having to get people to pay any more money from their pay packet).

    Putting interest on loans is dangerous politically. There is more than one way to skin this cat.

    • Mr_Blobby

      It should be universal. Everyone gets it or nobody gets it. Same with pensions. Otherwise where is the incentive, if you are just going to steal from one segment to give to another.

      • NotForTurning

        Yep. nobody gets anything.

        At least that way the country is solvent.

        • Meg

          More like ruined .

          • BJ

            It will be if the two financially inept parties get their hands on it.

    • NotForTurning

      Political suicide.

      Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

    • BJ

      Agree with all but Means testing: If your parents have an income just over a certain threshold but have 5 kids to put through uni – thats grossly unfair against another’s parent whose income is just under the threshold and only has 1 child to support through uni.

      No. 9) If you have aspirations for your kid to be university educated think about how much you limit each child’s opportunities the more sprogs you have.

    • Auto_Immune

      I do wonder if Joyce & Dunne et al have more changes with the loans scheme up their sleeve. I could see your suggestions getting cabinet/caucus approval except for maybe (1), (5) & (6).

    • NotForTurning

      (2) (3) (6) are government policy today.

      but then, they’re the kind of things you’d expect Hellen & co to do if they though about it.

      As it is, NZ has the highest level of government funding to students, and the lowest level of funding to universities in the OECD.

  • peterwn

    “The interest free student loan bribe was a particularly egregious election bribe by Helen Clark” – Grant Robertson is just as implicated.

    • NotForTurning

      All leftists are not just implicated: they are guilty.

      • Meg

        Yet another stupid blanket statement from NFT.

  • NotForTurning

    Cut it. Now. Time for students to ante-up like the rest of us and take a haircut in order to assist the economy to recover.

    Just cut it a bit? Fuck that. terminate all loans immediately.

    Backdate interested at say 10%+inflation per annum to all borrowers who have not paid off their loans; start immediate confiscation/bankruptcy proceedings against thost who cannot discharged principal and all interest immediately.

    Whey the leftyscum complain the government is forcing mortgagee sales, say “Yep, well it was in our policy to fix the economy” and throw ’em to the gutter.

    Now do the same to WFF, ACC, EQC & super.

    • Meg

      Can you hear the death rattles of NZ in NFT’s post.

      Thank god very few people like you exist in the real world. Your time has ended.

    • Mediaan

      Standing right behind you, NFT.

    • unsol

      Like I said to Monique above

      Ok – fine in theory for the unskilled degrees (BA, BSc, BCom…not to mention all the diplomas & National Certificates!!!), but what about teachers, accountants, lawyers, doctors, dentists etc etc? And what about the subsidy that the govt pays for fees? Average BA is about $18k yet students (domestic) only pay $4k?

      Dentistry is about $14k p/a after the subsidy. Should only the kids of rich families become dentists etc? Serious question.

  • GregM

    The loans need to stay, but the interest free lark needs to stop.
    How about I go to the bank and draw down a loan, which I may pay back one day, but in the meantime you lot pay the interest for me. That’s the situation we have now, it’s ridiculous.

    • NotForTurning

      Only works if you reform NZ’s bankruptcy laws. In the US, nothing remits student loans, including bankruptcy or death with any estate. In some state I understand they devolve to the next of kin.

      • GregM

        Agreed. The only thing exempt from bankruptcy here is child support payments. Every cent owed to the taxpayer should be exempted, including student loans.

  • Ye Gods. The Genius Jellyfish are all shoaling here tonight. Student Loans for education are fuckin’ nuts full stop. . Forget about axing the interest free component, the whole scheme is doomed to fail under it’s own weight.
    #1 rule of loan-sharking – always lend on collateral. Make sure you have an asset to repossess. You can piss and moan and moralize all you like but if you lend on something intangible, is it highly surprising if most borrowers fuck off to Aussie Job Land in order to avoid paying the loan on Santa’s promised pressies that never materialised?
    No! It’s human nature. The clever thing to do is to find a business model that doesn’t rely on highly unreliable 20 yr olds to pay a loan.

    The ramifications of taking this loan they were never fully apprised of by a bunch of academics and unionists that told them that a mortgage on their future was better than a trade or starting at the bottom in a job.

    • unsol

      Ok – fine in theory for the unskilled degrees (BA, BSc, BCom…not to mention all the diplomas & National Certificates!!!), but what about teachers, accountants, lawyers, doctors, dentists etc etc? And what about the subsidy that the govt pays for fees? Average BA is about $18k yet students (domestic) only pay $4k?

      Dentistry is about $14k p/a after the subsidy. Should only the kids of rich families become dentists etc? Serious question.

    • Mediaan

      Tough one, as these students leaving our shores have zero value. Cutting off an ear? Not paid in five years, cut off the other one as well? (Nope, not quite collateral unfortunately as nobody wants it. Have to think harder.) Sell them for body parts? (Nope. Full of drugs, no use.) Ummm. Rent them to the Unions for stacking demonstrations where only 55 people showed and 51 of those were Union officials? YES.

  • TomTom

    The problem is, how are you going to entice students to stay if you get rid of the “no interest repayments” bait? They can earn more elsewhere and consequently pay it back faster. Just a thought!

    • NotForTurning

      how are you going to entice students to stay

      who cares? Anyone good has probably already gone.

      • Mediaan

        Threaten them with very limited windows of opportunity for returning. (“If you go, with your loan unpaid, you can only ever apply to re-enter New Zealand in years divisible by five, and during July or August.”)

    • Mostly_Harmless

      Keep the interest-free scheme for degrees in professions that we need. Scrap it for useless degrees.

      • TomTom

        The problem is, as much as we ridicule BA and some BSc degrees, they do help to develop skills for graduates which many companies and firms require. How are you going to define the line between a useful BCom degree in Accounting a “useless” BCom in tourism?

  • In Vino Veritas

    Meg, before student loans our best and brightest as you call them, didn’t up and head off (other than the obligatory OE for a while). If these students want a tertiary education, they should get debt from a bank. At minimum it sharpen up their attitude toward repayment.
    And before you say anything, it won’t change anyone’s ability to get an education. Those who want an education will get one, and then pay back what they owe. Sort of like what happened before the student loan bribe was made.

    • Meg

      That was when fees were tiny and a weeks work on the docks got you your fees for the term. And no I am not making that up at all. I know a few oldies who did just that because it was so affordable.

      • Mediaan

        Men might, if they had connections, get work on the docks.

        Very good connections, you’d need. The bellicose wharfies, who were wildly overmanned and had long poker sessions behind high stacks of lumber for a lot of the time, didn’t want others in there.

        Men could sometimes, if connected, get a high paid job at the meatworks or woolstore too. That was for the privileged few. Most men would get less than half that, or a third.

        Women earned about a quarter to a 7th of the woolstore-meatworks type wage.

        My initial long vacation job, when I first left school and waited for varsity to start, paid a wage that, before tax and living expenses, represented about a 7th of that coming year’s fees I had to save up to enrol. Then there were books, which were cripplingly expensive, and the usual living costs – transport, rent, food, clothing.

      • In Vino Veritas

        Meg, I am one of the oldies. And getting part time work on the docks was near impossible if you weren’t unionised. For eg, I got a job in a concrete yard. A union official turned up and questioned me and when he found out I was non-union, he went straight to management and told them the men would be out on strike unless they got shot of me. I was spending all day bending steel rods for bridge beam construction. Really boring. I got sent down the road.

        In terms of fees, bollocks. I went through Uni of Otago 1986 – 1988. Fees were a bit over $3K a year for my course. I look now, they are $4.7K. This implies that fees haven’t even kept up with 2% inflation (and inflation was higher back then) over 27 years! So, to say fees were tiny is just mischief making. Students need to understand there are no free lunches.

  • Apolonia

    The statement ” National criticised it but left it in place” is true for a lot of things.
    Getting rid of student loans would be easy. Currently for every Dollar the government lends it gets fifty cents back.
    Therefore, simple solution, abolish student loans and replace them with student grants equivalent to half what the government is lending.
    As recovery of outstanding loans diminishes the administration of it can be handed over to the IRD.

  • dumbshit

    maybe “owl” could do the calculation that would project when a student would be fiscally better off paying their own interest, rather than contribute to the interest bill,via tax, for every student following them for the rest of their working and retirement life.there could be a median point where a number of students shown the figures would consider that this isn’t such a great idea

  • Pissedoffyouth

    I don’t get why they have kiwi saver for loan holders?

    I’m on a payment holiday and put the money into my student loan on top of the compulsory repayments. I know its stupid when if I put the money into Kiwisaver it would get a return but I got the loan on my own back and I’ll pay it off before I spend money elsewhere.

    • Hazards001

      Good for you…and of course the pay off for you will be that when you’ve unloaded your student loan you are free and clear no matter who changes what rules. Personally I am a huge supporter of debt reduction/no debt. Fuck being beholden to anyone!

      • Pissedoffyouth

        I agree. I have no credit cards or big loans for cars etc, I keep within my budget.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Folks, just got off the phone with Sheep and hippy Norman. Both are jumping with joy and their message to Naked Emperor is bring it on bro.

    Sheep says, if NE announces to scrap interest free student loan scheme that will be the death knell for Emperor in 2014 election. Hippie Norman is going to fund Christchurch rebuild by a 3% levy on rich pricks (> 60K)

  • J.M

    Student loan repaid, and as I was overseas for most of it I ended up paying $30k in interest.
    Not an issue, I’ve massively profited over the years from my education, both personally and professionally. Student loans should not be interest free.

    • Mediaan

      Well done, and well done for studying in a useful field by the sound of it.

      • unsol

        Out of curiosity, what is a non-useful field?

        For example, take BAs, BEd, BComs, BScs etc. These can mean you become a wastrel or you can go into policy (someone has to write the words that make the pollys grand ideas law and/or write the words, formulate the policy so that the law can be applied practically), marketing, teaching, psychology etc etc. While there is an overkill with some of these professions (esp re policy types under the former Labour govt where they had analysts, advisors, managers etc galore), they are all still very important.

        • Mediaan

          I meant, something that will support you later.

          • unsol

            Still need clarification sorry – if you don’t mind.

            If you obtain a tertiary qualification & it translates into a job then that is useful. And if this job means you then become a genuine net taxpayer whereby you cover your cost in society via your taxes and you also ensure you have sufficient funds for retirement & future health costs (e.g. through private schemes) then surely that is useful?

          • Mediaan

            True Unsol, but in my experience those ” comforts and pretty words” jobs are the first to dry up in a really bad economic recession. People still buy porridge get the guttering fixed and have their teeth done, but they dispense with the glossy marginal things.

          • Mediaan

            Maybe I should add, I have a grave and suspicious attitude about the way the world operates its money now. To me, the banks look scared.

          • unsol

            Me too. It seems to be tinkering on the edge of completely going bust. Habits & attitudes haven’t changed despite the big GR scare.

      • J.M

        Actually my field was not that useful in a NZ context to be fair, but the studies gave me an excellence base to go on and do what I eventually did.

        • Mediaan

          That’s a high quality attitude.

  • WayneO

    Sell the student debt, privatise the system and allow competition for student loans.

    • Mediaan

      Sell it to a really tough, nasty collection agency. Hell’s Angels maybe. They’ll make sure it gets paid all right.

  • unsol

    I agree with this: “Labour won’t do it, and National know if they do they are 100% dead at the next election.”

  • Mediaan

    Best and brightest? Many of them can barely read, these days. University standards seem to me way different (but I have no objective way of checking).

    Maybe their interactive-digital skills will make up for it. Let’s hope.

    • unsol

      I agree. But the age of ‘text-speak’ doesn’t help.

      • TomTom

        Believe it or not, uni students don’t do “text speak” – it’s bloody hard to rite lyk dis it tk me 4eva 2 dink dis up.

        And you kinda do have to read in order to, y’know, read exam questions and pass.

        • unsol

          Actually there are some super smart young people out there, more so I think that what they were when I was at uni. The smart seem to have gotten a lot smarter.

          Re “read exam questions and pass” – which is a sticking point as many don’t pass.

          I am actually going back to uni later this year or early next to do a post grad diploma then Masters in a different degree so I can obtain a different skill set. Paying for it myself of course. I asked a couple of young people I have met recently & they said that everyone has tablets & ipads to write the notes on – so gutted, I was looking forward to buying my stationary!

          • Mediaan

            Well done, sounds great.

          • unsol

            hmmmm, you may not think so when if I were to tell you what it is! :-) But it isnt in the public service so who cares right?!

          • Mediaan

            Isn’t in the public service and isn’t contracting to it. Then, I agree, any risk you take is none of my business. I am sure you have thought about it well.

          • TomTom

            Never seen this tablet/iPad thing at uni. Even laptops aren’t common in lecture theatres – it’s easier to write detailed and bright notes on paper so just stick to getting a small laptop for when you’re stuck at uni.

          • unsol

            Wellingtonians are clearly a bunch of posers then – I studied at Otago too…..Vic has nothing on that campus! Part of my study will be through massey too though so which is of course all online.

            But that said my handwriting has become almost unreadable these days – my old job was all computer & being an at-home Mum doesn’t generally offer the opportunity to write notes very often! So notes via ipad in the class I have to attend might be useful if I want to be able to read them later :-)

          • TomTom

            Sounds complicated! Good luck and know you will do well :)

    • Meg

      Barley read, oh please. Spouting National propaganda and lies will get you no where.

      • axeman

        “Barley read” Oh please Paul. How about you participate in spelling revision while you are on school holidays. Teacherscock

      • Mediaan

        Haven’t you heard of universities moaning they have to offer remedial reading courses? It has been a complaint for years.

        Some Radio NZ announcers seem challenged with reading, for that matter.

      • Agent BallSack

        Educations hasn’t helped your comprehension and you work in the fucking sector. God help our kids.

  • Mediaan

    To finance the Christchurch rebuild, has anyone considered selling titles? Christchurch would go for that big time. $10m, one knighthood. $50m, one hereditary knighthood. And so on. No need to interfere with the existing types of Honour, they could be Knight of Christchurch. $80m, Baron, and you get to choose a locality to link to it – Baron Brownlie of Halswell.

    Plus, sorry to be cynical, but the announcement of it costing an extra $10b on top of previous costings came exactly at the same time as a new scheme.

    This was some wild-eyed genius scheme to turn every street corner and lamp-post into a digital watch-tower and information repository, supposedly a database of immense value to the world which they will flock to buy parts of. In other words, I won’t be able to go and buy a cup of coffee without having my every movement logged for posterity.

    Can anyone, anyone with a brain, see anyone wanting this except a mad world-controller in a cave in central Bavaria maybe? And how much money does he have?

    • Mediaan

      I know this thread is way out of date now, but…
      Just to add, there has been an ominous endorsement of the “smart city” scheme. Mai Chen writes glowingly of it today in Christchurch’s paper The Press.
      Clincher. Mad idea.

  • Patrick

    Interest free? Wouldn’t mind that if there was some committment to pay back the principle

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