Labour ignores real education problems and rolls out the pork barrel

“Labour have reverted to cynical election bribery, trying to recapture the glory of 2005’s interest-free student loan announcement,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The real gaps in education are not in universities, but in primary and secondary schools that are struggling to attract talented teachers. Free tertiary education is no use to the secondary school students falling behind and dropping out.

“Instead of fixing this real problem, Labour wants to tax the daylights out of working New Zealanders to fund an election bribe for people who are disproportionately upper-middle class.

“Letting students borrow more makes sense, but increasing fee subsidies and cash handouts is pork barrel politics.

“It will pump up prices in the student housing market, and skew incentives towards going to university and staying there longer, worsening skill shortages in trades like construction.

“Labour thinks students are sheep that can be suckered with a short-term cash bribe. ACT will simply cut tax and let students reap the benefits of hard work across their whole careers.”