And BOOM! Labour’s ownership of student vote disappears with Winston’s massive bribe

Labour can kiss their student vote goodbye, just when McCarten scam got busted.

Winston Peters has announced the biggest bribe of them all…wiping student loans:

New Zealand First is promising to wipe student loans for new students who stay and work in the country for five years, and it says that it will only cost $4.6b a year.

People who bond themselves to regions in need of workers or study for less time could wipe theirs even faster.

The “Up Front Investment” announcement was made at the party’s regional conference this weekend, along with the promise of a universal student allowance, instead of the means tested benefit currently in place.

“We are going to deal to student debt because it’s getting worse and worse. It’s just impossible for young people,” party leader Winston Peters said.

Under the proposed scheme, the universal student allowance of about $200 a week would cover living costs while the government would cover all of student’s tuition fees upfront.

The Government currently subsidises around two thirds of tuition fees for domestic students.

Every year of study would bond a student to one year of work in New Zealand. So a student who completed a three-year BA would only need to work for three years in New Zealand to pay off their entire loan.

However these fully-funded places would not be guaranteed, with industry groups and a reinstated Careers NZ setting a number of jobs they would need when the degree ended. There would be competition for fully funded places, but also safeguards to preserve diversity.

Diversity…there it is again. What ever happened to excellence?

God knows how he thinks this is affordable.

Students who studied for longer than five years, like doctors, could still have their fees wiped in five years or less.

The policy would only apply to new students. If a student left the country within their repayment period and did not find a overseas worker to replace them then they would be hit with the remaining years of their loan. Like current overseas based borrowers this would be with interest, but it would also be the full tuition fee, not a subsidised one.

“Whatever you’ve got left will be turned into a financial debt – actually more. It will be the full fee,” New Zealand First education spokesperson Tracey Martin said.

“The loan will be around time rather than money. The government would directly negotiate and directly purchase the fully funded places from universities, PTEs, and polytechs.

“We don’t think you should have to borrow to live.”

Martin said the scheme would cost $4.63b a year – only about half a billion more than the Government currently spends and 1.86 per cent of GDP – but both Labour and National said it was fiscally unachievable.

Yep, fiscally unachievable.

Student and opposition politicians make a big deal out of student loans, like students are entitled to free money. The scheme is largely free to them anyway. They are only paying for about one third of their tuition, the government picks up the rest.

I think it is fair for people to have skin in the game, this makes it all risk free. Whatever the projected costs are it will be massively more than that.

A bad policy from Winston, I’m afraid.




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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.