New figures show the cost of tertiary education is rising seven times faster than inflation, putting post-school education out of the reach of many, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.
“Figures release this week show how much more students or their parents are having to fork out for their education. The latest CPI statistics released this week shows the cost of tertiary and other post-school education has risen at 2.9 per cent. Inflation over the same period was 0.4 per cent.
“Meanwhile the cost of primary and secondary schooling is rising at a rate 3.7 per cent, almost 10 times the rate of inflation. This means parents are forking out more and more in donations and fees while at the same time government funding to schools per student is falling.
“The National Government has put education out of the reach of many. A free education for all was once part of the Kiwi Dream, along with the ability to buy your own home and a health system that was the envy of the world. These things are slipping away under the National Government which is putting more of the burden on taxpayers.
“Rising costs make post-school education less obtainable for low income families and locks families into generations of poverty. It is crucial that all New Zealanders have the ability to study to the levels they aspire to.
“We must also ensure that young New Zealanders have the skills they need for the workplace today and into the future.
“A more educated workforce creates a stronger economy, and that’s good for everyone.
“That’s why Labour’s Working Future Plan will provide three years’ free post-school study or training for every New Zealander throughout their lifetimes,” Andrew Little says.