NZ tertiary students have become Generation Debt after repeated penny pinching from a Minister who just does not care, says Labour’s Tertiary Education Spokesperson David Cunliffe says.
“A survey released today shows 36% of students say their student debt will affect their decision to have children and 70% say it will influence their ability to own their own home.
NZUSA's Income and Expenditure survey 2014 released today shows students are working longer hours (up from 12 to 14 hours on average per week) and more are suffering financial hardship (44% don't have enough income to meet their basic needs). 28% will graduate with significant credit card debt.
"These are shocking reminders that student debt has rocketed up and the financial burden on today's students is unsustainable.
"All New Zealanders will suffer when higher education goes only to those who can afford it, not those most capable of achieving. Steven Joyce and the National Government are squarely to blame for this mess.
“Under National, student debt has shot up from $10 million in 2009 to over $14 million in 2014.
“Meanwhile skyrocketing living costs - now averaging nearly $200 per week in Auckland while the accommodation allowance remains stuck at $40 - is driving increased hardship and stress.
“National has frozen parental income thresholds for student support until 2019 and to qualify a family has to be earning less than half the average wage. But only a quarter of students actually receive any financial help from their family.
“Generation Debt is in crisis. And worse than doing nothing, Steven Joyce has driven students deeper into the mire,” says David Cunliffe.