May 12, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Change in Student Loan Policy will hurt Maori

2 min read

The government has recently signaled that it’s student loans policy will be changed. Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce was quoted as saying:

We’re going to keep the student loan interest-free, but then we’re going to look at other requirements around those student loans,

TStudentLoansFhe argument being that without interest there is less of an incentive to pay it back.

Prime Minister John Key said in his statement to Parliament last week that the Government would take “a careful look” at student loans and allowances to “ensure that taxpayers’ generosity is not being exploited”.

Official figures show the total student loan book held by Inland Revenue was $9.109 billion last year well ahead of the $3.415b in 2000. There were 561,799 people with a loan a 5.9 per cent increase on the previous year.

However, Joyce said the Government remained committed to interest-free loans.

We committed before the election and we believe in keeping our word on this sort of stuff,” he said.

Labour is worried that “access to tertiary education for Maori will be threatened if the government does away with free student loans”

The government needs to support Maori into tertiary education not pull the rug out from under us, Kelvin Davis says. Associate Minister of Education Pita Sharples has just launched a new guide to assist tertiary institutions to help Maori succeed in tertiary education, and at the same time Steven Joyce the Minister for Tertiary Education is jeopardising Maori success in tertiary education by tampering with student loans.

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