Thursday, May 03, 2012

Discouraging education

Today's attempted distraction from John Banks: the government is hiking the student loan repayment rate. So all those former students earning minimum wage by flipping burgers now get to face an extra 2% graduate tax. I bet that'll make them feel their education was worthwhile.

Student allowance income thresholds are also being frozen for four years. FYI has the figures on this, and it will save a mere $11 million over four years. In other words, its penny-pinching, while making life more difficult for those in need.

But the real problem is the cut in student allowance entitlements, from five years to four. This means that students will no longer be able to pursue a double degree or a Masters on a student allowance (it may also mean problems for law students). Unless they have rich parents, of course. So, National is chopping rungs out of the ladder of opportunity, making it more difficult for those at the bottom to access the qualifications needed to better themselves. I guess their rich kids just can't stand the competition.