The big bribe?

July 15th, 2008 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Homepaddock quotes on what may be Labour’s big bribe:

It is understood Labour is considering a massive boost to the student allowance scheme, including a payment of some $350 a week for study courses of 35 hours a week or more. That would put far ahead of any other standard benefit payment. It would cost a lot of money, but may not have the same impact as interest-free loans did in 2005.

This would of course be popular with students, but not graduates so much. How many courses are over 35 hours a week? Not the BAs that is for sure :-)

Where I would like to see a change to student allowances is parental means testing. I think it is quite wrong that students in their 20s are means tested on their parents income instead of their own. That would have been a far more logical thing to do than interest free loans which just encourage unnecessary borrowing.

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133 Responses to “The big bribe?”

  1. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    35 hours – i.e. those who cannot realistically earn a lot of money working.

    Whom will it favour? Med students and the like, and those with long labs in addition to lectures – science students. I’m told we need more of these…

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  2. homepaddock (408 comments) says:

    The money would be better spent improving the quality of education rather than reducing its cost.

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  3. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    superb, then we can further finance the upskilling of people so they can emigrate to places where the wages are better once they graduate.

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  4. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    Look, the Godzilla in the room on this subject, is that there is an almost total disconnect between the output of graduates with skills that are NEEDED AND RELEVANT to NZ’s economic and social wellbeing, and the supply/demand mechanism that would ensure this. The danger is that we are getting a whole lot of unemployable graduates who will never pay back their loans OR add any value whatsoever to NZ society.

    EDIT/ADD. While meanwhile, productive sectors are screaming out for qualified people, and filling the gaps with immigrants.

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  5. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    PhilBest Agree 100% why do we continue to have a mismatch between grads and jobs. Why cant we have a scheme that encourages students into the high demand areas. Those who want to get a PhD in the study of the number of angels on the head of a pin should have to pay the full cost.

    High demand students could be fully or almost fully funded and then bonded with an allowance of going overseas for further study and or work experience

    If you make it all too hard soem will go and never return Gotta make it attractive thats why we need a low tax high income environment.

    the sort that the Socialists have failed to deliver

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  6. m_c (26 comments) says:

    So they are trying to gut the Green support on campus to shore up their low polls? Outside of the target demographic here, I can’t imagine too many “working class mums and dads” would be impressed with this given what students got last time and the fact they can’t put petrol in their car

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  7. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “The danger is that we are getting a whole lot of unemployable graduates who will never pay back their loans OR add any value whatsoever to NZ society.”

    Its not ever about improving NZ’s economic situation or raising our living standards or any of that. Its really just about Helen Klark and her gang of crooks clinging to power. At any cost. Just as they have in every preceding election, the left will pervert the democratic process into a ‘vote yourself money from the public purse’ fraud.

    Under the guise of caring and compassion for Maori/ Pensioners/ Students/ Underprivileged or whatever the left will buy their way back into the halls of power, where supported by their legions of bludgers and no accounts, they’ll smugly gloat at pulling another trick over NZ’s productive sector (in Kullen speak, ‘rich pricks’). The long term prognosis for this kind of behaviour is social and economic disaster, but the left don’t care about this. The immediate gratification of their insatiable lust for power is always their prime consideration. I’ve posted the quote below many times before. Its more relevant today than ever. If we can just dislodge the left from power, we can stall this fatal cycle.

    ——————————————

    A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the Public Treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the Public Treasury with a result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy always followed by dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence:

    From Bondage to Spiritual Faith
    From Spiritual Faith to Great Courage
    From Courage to Liberty
    From Liberty to Abundance
    From Abundance to Selfishness
    From Selfishness to Complacency
    From Complacency to Apathy
    From Apathy to Dependency
    From Dependency back into Bondage”

    -most commonly attributed to “The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic” by Alexander Fraser Tytler Lord Woodhouselee (1748-1813) (Scottish judge and historian at Edinburgh University)

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  8. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    Hey, thanks for that Redbaiter, I knew I’d read something like that somewhere before and had lost the details of who, what, and when……now you’ve provided them for me…..thanks heaps.

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  9. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    The other facet of the “useless graduate” situation, is that many of these “useless graduates” end up in the ballooning public sector bureaucracy, and are actually a significant net “minus” to the NZ Taxpayer in an ongoing sense, not just by way of the cost of their useless degree……..

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  10. pushmepullu (686 comments) says:

    Redbaiter it pains me to say this but you are wrong… the Left will not buy their way back, they have gone too far now and they will be destroyed in November, and the decay you so accurately describe will be reversed as the National Party finally sets about cleaning house. While the dangers you have pinpointed are there they can be averted. The USA has successfully survived and with the right policies, hopefully in close cooperation with President McCain, Key can do so too.

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  11. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Redbaiter it pains me to say this but you are wrong…”

    Well, let’s hope so.. :)

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  12. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    You see I’m not just poo-pooing it because it may be a Labour policy. It seems to be the tail wagging the dog. Shoulddn’t we reather be paying doctors nurses teachers etc what they are worth, and looking at thair working conditions, rather than training them then treating them like pariahs if they dare to complain about heatlth, education, safety etc. Same with the police. Hard to recruit the police we need? put up the wages, then make the qualifications more stringent – result – more police, better police, better retention, better society.

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  13. berend (1,709 comments) says:

    I wish we had Rodney’s Taxpayers Bill of Rights, then these bribes simply couldn’t happen.

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  14. berend (1,709 comments) says:

    Grame: 35 hours – i.e. those who cannot realistically earn a lot of money working.

    Wanna bet how many courses will suddenly become over 35 hours? I mean, learning hip hop dance or women studies, that’s serious stuff which requires at least 35 hours a week.

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  15. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    You CAN do a BA in less than 35 hours David but each paper equals 10 hours/week. 4 papers/semester equals 40 hours.

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  16. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    The hours of a paper is up to a university e.g. 15 hours of lectures a week, 12 hours of labs/tutorials. I’m sure they’d rather have the money for staff pay or just general operating costs, so can’t see how they’d be that keen to extend the hours that their staff spend supervising all these extra classes…

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  17. goodgod (1,348 comments) says:

    There is a balance to be reached between the practicalities of the world and the goals and rewards of higher education. Throwing more money at the balancing act isn’t even close to a solution.

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  18. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    I seem to have massively exaggerated the hours that might be required of a paper…

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  19. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    stephen you’ve kind of neglected that students are both expected and required to actually do some work that isn’t in classroom.

    This is big boys school.

    The average expected work for each paper is around 10 hours/week. Only 3-4 hours of it is in a classroom.

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  20. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    # pushmepullu (303) Add karma Subtract karma +1 Says:
    July 15th, 2008 at 11:04 am

    “Redbaiter it pains me to say this but you are wrong… the Left will not buy their way back, they have gone too far now and they will be destroyed in November, and the decay you so accurately describe will be reversed as the National Party finally sets about cleaning house. While the dangers you have pinpointed are there they can be averted. The USA has successfully survived and with the right policies, hopefully in close cooperation with President McCain, Key can do so too.”

    Pushmepullu, I’d love to believe you are right, but all over the world, Sweden, Germany, France, ……where the outright social-engineering Left has been removed from power and replaced with a seemingly decent administration, the decent leaders have been “frozen in the headlights” of the still-Leftwing “mainstream” media and social “elites”, not daring to do anything that will result in a sustained campaign against them. I am a pessimist on this subject, I think the writing was on the wall as far back as the 1990’s when National was unable to do the needed reforms under Bolger or Shipley and the country ended up with a deleterious windback of the clock to the point we’re at today.

    We don’t just need John Key and the Nats to have some serious balls, we need a revolution in the media and educational sectors, or we will continue to alternate between going backwards under outright socialists and standing still under “moderates”.

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  21. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    The average expected work for each paper is around 10 hours/week. Only 3-4 hours of it is in a classroom.

    Which, in your opinion, is more than or less than 35 hours a week (for say 4 papers)?
    [honestly asking]

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  22. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    PhilBest: The danger is that we are getting a whole lot of unemployable graduates who will never pay back their loans OR add any value whatsoever to NZ society.

    I wonder how many Political Science degrees there are floating about in New Zealand. I’m guessing they outnumber all other degrees :)

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  23. Mr Dennis (348 comments) says:

    I have some sympathy for this policy to be honest, as I have always felt that if you are to have an unemployment benefit and a student allowance the student allowance must at least be as much as if not more than the dole to encourage people to study. Currently if an unemployed person chooses to study they take a pay cut PLUS have to come up with the costs of study – this is a big disincentive. Surely it is a greater benefit to society to have them studying towards gaining a job rather than doing nothing.

    However the level of this allowance seems extremely high and expensive. This money could come from putting interest back on student loans (a much fairer system than the current one which is open to massive abuse), but Labour won’t dare propose this.

    I agree with David that reducing parental means testing would be more beneficial. At present only very poor people (and people from families with good accountants) can get the student allowance, provided they choose not to work much while studying – so there is not point increasing an allowance that most people can’t get anyway. It really discourages you from working – I never qualified because with some scholarship income and the work I did while studying I earned nearly as much as I would have received from the student allowance. I would have been better off in some ways never applying for my scholarship and not working at all, and would have been given the same money for doing nothing provided we could have got the accountant to show the family farm earned little money… Means testing is ineffective and ultimately counter-productive.

    I don’t think we need to worry though, even if they got in they wouldn’t be able to find the money for the policy so it would never happen.

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  24. Ryan Sproull (7,195 comments) says:

    New Zealand student unions have been campaigning for something like this for many years.

    The current system is quite fucked. You can borrow up to $150/week against the loan for living costs. And you can get an allowance of something like $170/week. Now, $320/week is enough to live off, as long as you don’t have to deal with medical bills, dental bills, needing to fly out of town for a funeral, pay bond on a new flat, need any repairs done on your car, etc. But something like that always comes up. And once you get behind on all that stuff, you’re stuck behind.

    Getting a job sounds like a great idea, except that if you make more than a certain threshold, your student allowance gets taken away. You basically need a 10hr/week job to prevent getting paid so much that your allowance gets taken away, and few employers want to employ someone for 10 hours a week or less.

    So you’ve got a disincentive to get a job, because the money in your hand is about the same either way.

    And full-time study really is full-time. As has been said several times, each paper requires 10 hours a week in lectures, tutorials, labs, readings and assignments. That’s for first-year papers. Second-year are supposed to take 12-13, and third-year 15 hours a week. When you’re forced to work extra hours (lots of extra hours, to get past the threshold hump), it eats into your study, and you start to fall behind.

    My suggestion would be:

    1. Remove the threshold. Give the student allowance to full-time students and don’t punish them for working part-time while studying.
    2. Increase the student allowance.
    3. Reduce tuition fees.
    4. Link all of the above to a GPA threshold (including probation for students who slump for a semester), so that students are making the most of the opportunities provided.
    5. Forget about parental means for anyone not living at home.

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  25. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    I like the idea that education is well funded and available. But have a look at some other countries where it is ‘fully funded’ and shake you head at the complete wastage and nonsense that situation creates.

    A friend of mine went to France recently as part of her Law degree, before she left she was all excited in a lefty kind of way about how tertiary education was fully funded in France. We talked briefly about it before she left. When she returned we talked some more about it. She was disillusioned by it, the low standards, the time wasters, the bums on seats for the allowance brigade and the worthlessness of the degree’s that the system produces.

    It’s only one perspective, but you know that when a hard core lefty bags a public funded system then you need to consider it a bigger context than “political popularity”.

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  26. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    You’re right Murray, but i neglected that because the amount of work you do is totally up to you – I remember my papers recommended that I study the material for a half an hour before each lecture! Would end up being an arbitrary number that could be manipulated at will…perhaps by the student union, say.

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  27. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    On a related matter my son graduated with a business degree taken full time whilst working at various jobs, When he graduated and went looking for work the cry was that he didnt have any experience. So he offered to work for some employers for no pay for a period to prove his worth.

    Not interested After 6 months he got a job with a large corporate who actually understood that you need a job to get experience.

    Same goes for agesim one of the prevelent forms of discrimination thats hidden in our business community.

    There are far too many dumb arse employers out there who need to wake up and smell the coffee.

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  28. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    Paying anyone based in input (ie study ‘hours’) ties us to a 19th century industrial economic model.

    Surely output (ie the product of the [sought after] study field and actual results achieved) is much more valuable in the long term?

    But perhaps that’s just too hard when all the proposer really wants is votes for another 3 year stay of political execution.

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  29. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    You can borrow up to $150/week against the loan for living costs. And you can get an allowance of something like $170/week. Now, $320/week is enough to live off…

    If you get an allowance you cannot borrow that money through the student loan scheme.

    [Someone with a student allowance of $170 cannot borrow living costs at all, someone with a partial student allowance of say $120, could borrow $30 a week in living costs.]

    You basically need a 10hr/week job to prevent getting paid so much that your allowance gets taken away, and few employers want to employ someone for 10 hours a week or less.

    This, however, is not as bad as it used to be. It used to be when you earned 1 cent over a certain threshold you lost the whole allowance. It was changed a few years back to impose a 100% marginal tax rate (e.g. you earn $10 over the threshold, you lose $10 of allowance, not the whole lot).

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  30. Ryan Sproull (7,195 comments) says:

    Graeme,

    Sorry, you’re right. It was some years ago that you could get both living costs and allowance. I gave up on allowance entirely and worked part-time plus borrowing against the loan (minus the year editing Craccum, for which I was paid).

    And yes, if you earn $10 over the threshold, you lose $10 of allowance. That’s what I meant by, “So you’ve got a disincentive to get a job, because the money in your hand is about the same either way,” and is the “threshold hump” to which I referred – you have to earn $170 over the threshold (potentially 20 hours’ work) before you have more in the hand than you would have by working not at all.

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  31. big bruv (13,923 comments) says:

    How interesting that many of my fellow right wingers are sympathetic to this idea, while they quite rightly are dead against bribes to other sectors of the community for some reason when it affects them or their alumni they seem to think that paying students a benefit (a bribe) is not such a stupid idea.

    All this goes to show is that this election is going to be exactly like the last one and all those that went before, this election is going to be won by the party that offers the biggest bribes, all those who thought that there might be some “greater” desire to see the end of the evil Labour regime are kidding themselves, if dear corrupt leader offers them more then she will get their vote.

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  32. pushmepullu (686 comments) says:

    PhilBest I am quietly confident that what needs to be done will be done. My mates in the National party organisation here on the ground and also in Wellington assure me that once National comes to power they will swiftly make sure that those advocating left-wing views in the media and academia are swiftly turfed out of their jobs and applying for the dole… which of course they will need to work shoveling leaves or cleaning roads in order to be given. That should teach those blathering lefties the value of an honest day’s scrub… I look forward to watching John Minto mixing asphalt, Chris Trotter stripping paint off public toilets and Colin James cleaning the gutters in Christchurch Cathedral. Who knows they might even be halfway decent at it… everybody is at least competent at something and these empty head/open mouth types certainly aren’t good at anything they’re doing now except asking for a public handout.

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  33. pushmepullu (686 comments) says:

    When somebody studies they are chosing to put all their money into an investment in the future. Why should the government subsidise their living costs, allowing them to divert money into that investment, and then enjoy the private benefit of their investment later in life?

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  34. Ryan Sproull (7,195 comments) says:

    pushmepullu,

    Thinking has more than merely a monetary value to our society, and it should be encouraged regardless of sound financial investments.

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  35. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    pushmepullu – perhaps the government should subsidise higher education because roads and office buildings won’t design themselves, and sick heart valves won’t operate on themselves?

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  36. big bruv (13,923 comments) says:

    If John Key does a “me too” on this policy I will bloody well scream, dear corrupt leader wants middle NZ to pay for;

    1.Other peoples kids (WFF)
    2.Other peoples lifestyles (DPB)
    3.Other people education (Student allowance)

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  37. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    Sproull, have you costed your suggestions? Should we increase taxes to pay for them?

    I agree with you on removing the threshold, removing the means testing of those living away from home and increasing controls on performance. Those living at home should have their allowance discounted by at least 1/2 though. I say all this, on the proviso that there is an element of bonding & incentivising so that the public obtains some benefit to what is mainly a private good.

    Its unfortunate that the student union is a deeply socialist & self-interested organised lobby group and their focus is on the payment side of tertiary education. Unfortunately handouts win votes, but improving quality of the education service provided takes time. So the political solution is sub-optimal and skewed.

    Despite this, The interest free loan handout needs to be tightened and incentives provided for repaying it early. And clearly, reducing fees and increasing the student allowance is unaffordable, particularly given the current economic climate…are you a student or something Sproull? Wake up.

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  38. big bruv (13,923 comments) says:

    RRM

    The bloody “government” does not pay for anything (only a socialist would say that)

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  39. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    bruv – when you are 96 and gainfully employed filling your colostomy bags in the retirement home, those “other people” whose education you, single-handedly, heroically paid for out of your own sweat and toil, will be paying for the nutrients you eat and the power that keeps you illuminated and alive.

    Stop being so bloody stingy! Are you a Scot?

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  40. dime (9,977 comments) says:

    rrm must be a leftist! hes relying on us to pay for his retirement home haha

    if dime makes it to 96, he will have his own cash flow to pay for a retirement home

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  41. big bruv (13,923 comments) says:

    RRM

    When I am 96 I will still be working, because of the scandalous waste and downright abuse of my tax dollars by your dear corrupt leader (and those who follow her) I will be holding out for the pension that I will receive when I get to 100.

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  42. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    And you’ll probably still begrudge every cent of tax the evil commies steal from you right up until that point?

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  43. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    my mates in the National party organisation here on the ground and also in Wellington assure me that once National comes to power they will swiftly make sure that those advocating left-wing views in the media and academia are swiftly turfed out

    Haha! pushmepullus’s thought police!

    (was that an electoral ad for Labour?)

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  44. Ryan Sproull (7,195 comments) says:

    Its unfortunate that the student union is a deeply socialist & self-interested organised lobby group and their focus is on the payment side of tertiary education. Unfortunately handouts win votes, but improving quality of the education service provided takes time. So the political solution is sub-optimal and skewed.

    All of the people I’ve met involved in student unions are very lovely people, with a broad range of concerns about tertiary education. The student allowance system is currently inadequate, so they campaign about that. Tuition fees keep going up, and they campaign about that. Student loan debt is out of control, and they campaign about that. Their focus is admittedly on the welfare of students, so that is what they campaign about.

    But I expect if you sat down and had a few drinks with some student union kids, you’d agree – they’re not evil.

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  45. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    We live in a global world now and we can get overseas experts to do what we do not do so well.
    People can think effectively without necessarily having to go to Uni. It is how knowledge is used which is far more important than the acquisition of knowledge itself or the amount one possesses. Many jobs teach education and valuable skills far better than Uni does.
    We already subsidise education by 70% re fees, interest free loans and allowances.
    And some of us still argue for increased allowances and reduced fees….essentially arguing that education is almost exclusively a public good. Tell that to those who go overseas and do not return..heh..
    Another problem is that if you increase allowances, all those doing polytech education (which is not necessarily “thinking” or high level or value education) enjoy it too.
    We should be encouraging trades more not self-serving ‘thinking’.

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  46. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    A “self-interested lobby group”?

    How dare they!!!!

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  47. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    Including past Alliance and Labour party members…

    Despite this, I acknowledge there are many good and well-intentioned people on there but lets be realistic…they are a self-interested lobby group like any other..they do not see the wider picture ie how do you fund it and haven’t the students got enough already from the government…what about the trades etc. I went through Uni and am now on interest free loans. Personally, I think the policy is a joke and will only increase the debt level as more borrow and less pay off quickly.

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  48. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    RRM, I was making the point that the NZUSA is obviously self-interested so unlike Ryan, we should clearly take what they say with a rather large amount of salt..

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  49. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    What a bunch of National voting socialists, why the hell is it that students get money thrown at them while those who choose to go and work fulltime after high school get sod all.
    Want a fair system, give all eighteen year olds the same amount, or are some of you national voting types afraid that those who do not sit within ivy covered walls may start a business while you study the mating habits of Aussies ?
    It is a sick class ridden system that states that those who wear a white collar and have a degree in political science are worth more than say a roofer.
    I am surprised at the lack of balls shown by so many so called right wingers, why are you not saying, bright enough for university, bright enough to pay the full cost.
    You can get a degree while working, who said a degree has to be done fulltime ?
    Why the hell is it that so many of the young believe that they are owed a university education at taxpayer cost ?

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  50. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    Ryan even if I was to accept that the student loan system is ‘inadequate’, why should it take priority over all our other inadequate funding areas such as primary and secondary school education and health…? It would be the last on my list.
    Are you involved in the lobbying or still a student and want more? Everyone wants more funding..
    Or perhaps you have some other credible argument…we are waiting…

    And grumpy and pushmepullu, I think your views are both unreasonable and politically unworkable. 2 votes coming Act’s way….lets hope Act gets a few MP’s this time fellas.

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  51. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    I paid more tax last year than a roofer’s 17-year-old lackey. This year I will pay more tax than a roofer’s 17-year-old lackey. my qualifications and the jobs I have got because of them are the reason.

    TOO RIGHT the taxpayer came to the party when I was paying for my tertiary education!

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  52. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    RRM, the answer is to lower taxes not to increase middle class & elite subsidies. You are just being self-serving now. Just like PilU is re bludging.

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  53. artemisia (242 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull said – “And yes, if you earn $10 over the threshold, you lose $10 of allowance. That’s what I meant by, “So you’ve got a disincentive to get a job, because the money in your hand is about the same either way,” and is the “threshold hump” to which I referred – you have to earn $170 over the threshold (potentially 20 hours’ work) before you have more in the hand than you would have by working not at all.”

    Don’t forget the vast number of under-the-table jobs out there. I’ve hired students many times, through Student Job Search and privately. Without exception they wanted to be paid in folding, with no paperwork. Occasionally I needed a receipt, but I would not swear to the accuracy of the name and address on it. If someone wants to work under the radar, and thus avoid abatement (whether student allowance or benefit) it is easy to do.

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  54. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    You could lower taxes and I would still be paying more tax than a roofer’s 17-year-old lackey. The answer is NOT to kill off research and development (by not funding them or providing incentives for capable people to get into them) in favour of instead making mere existence 2.4% cheaper for everyone, or whatever this magic-bullet tax cut is supposed to do!

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  55. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    TOO RIGHT the taxpayer came to the party when I was paying for my tertiary education!

    So your degree created additional value in you which allowed you to earn more money. Wouldn’t a fairer system be for you to pay less income tax and service the loan you could’ve arranged because your degree would make you more valuable?

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  56. dime (9,977 comments) says:

    im felling pretty great here….

    came out of uni owing 25 grand. paid interest from the first day i drew down money.. never got a student allowance.. the loan jumps to 32 grand cause i pissed off overseas (slack dime :P )… anyway i pay it off.. now we get interest free loans from day freaking one.. and now they are talking about huge student allowances?

    sucks to be in class of 97!

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  57. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    Funding undergrads is helping improve the pool of R & D..an interesting argument… somehow I doubt it is a compelling case to increase the student subsidy above 70% of tuition fees, interest free student loans and student allowances.

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  58. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    Ryan – I managed full time uni, part time jobs and also brought a house (the joys of up to eight flatmates). Did my degree in four years. Came out with no loan, no debts and a pretty much paid off house. It can be done.

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  59. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    Dime, you highlight the other issue, where is the compensation to the students who are in a far worse position vis a vis those at Uni post 2000…fortunuately I was at Uni post 2000…;) These mooted changes are not just inequitable when compared to the wider community..there are also unfair relative to the students who did not receive such targeted welfarism.

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  60. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the Public Treasury.”

    Sounds like a good old fascist’s rallying cry. You know, during the 1930s, when labour movements around the world gathered momentum in response to the inequities of free-market capitalism (aka the great depression), industrialists and bankers all over the world called for a fascist response. Let’s not go there again hey red?

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  61. Ryan Sproull (7,195 comments) says:

    Ryan – I managed full time uni, part time jobs and also brought a house (the joys of up to eight flatmates). Did my degree in four years. Came out with no loan, no debts and a pretty much paid off house. It can be done.

    Yes, it can, but are you also a tremendously boring person?

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  62. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    “It is understood Labour is considering a massive boost to the student allowance scheme, including a payment of some $350 a week for study courses of 35 hours a week or more.”

    Damn – that would be about 5 years too late for me. I doubt this is true though. It’s probably something Labour’s been doing some internal poll work on, but it looks too generous to me, and would probably invite a backlash. Though having said that $170 is too little. $250 per week would be enough to properly take care of all the bills for most students. With $350 you could fly to Australia every month.

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  63. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    Nome you finally show some common sense…perhaps its self-serving since you did not receive this particular handout ;)

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  64. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    RRM, I do not have a degree, but, would you care to compare balance sheets to check tax paid over the last ten years in your business with
    mine ?
    You would agree that unless degree holders all earn more than those without one we should move to a user pays university system ?

    Or, do you believe in a class system because of occupation ?

    Oh, roofers, yep a couple of my rellies are roofers, pulled down over a
    hundred thousand each last year, how does that compare with the average degree holder aged twenty two ?

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  65. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    glubbster – na, I would feel guilty receiving $350 per week for study. After all i survived on $130 per week under Jenny “sink her” Shipley – although my diet was absolute crap, and my health suffered because of it.

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  66. big bruv (13,923 comments) says:

    RRM (673) –5 Says:

    July 15th, 2008 at 12:53 pm
    And you’ll probably still begrudge every cent of tax the evil commies steal from you right up until that point?

    Dead fucking right.

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  67. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Glubbster, me a ACT voter nope, a bloody minded old fashioned Labour type.

    I have no problem with the full funding of degrees that we NEED, but it is a load of bollocks that a young fellow wanting to start a business gets no help while those studying Greenland weaving get plenty in the way of
    funds and interest free loans.
    The young business owner has to pay full commercial rates.
    If education is an investment, treat it as one.

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  68. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    Nomey, get a job to supplement your degree….oops I forgot, you are reliant on the state for everything..my bad ;)
    It was your (informed) choice to undertake tertiary study so dont blame her for your self-made problems…having a sense of self-entitlement does not wash with me.

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  69. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    old&grumpy, so you support a corrupt govt which is planning to throw all this $ at allowances? That sits not so well with your subsequent views…are you also going senile?

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  70. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    How many foreign students come here from poor countries, study for three years paying full costs and then try to find a job here? I know quite a few that make it work, even using what little they can from their parents. Their diets don’t suffer. They acknowledge that for a while they’re studying and that it will cost them a bit of hardship (No iPods, Friday night beers every weekend, setting fire to couches, etc.) but at the end they are qualified and ready to work. That is paying double what New Zealand students pay with no interest free loans or living supplements or whatever else.

    I wonder why some of them manage this so well without any of the government handouts. And why Kiwi students, who are supposed to come from the No 8 wire stock, fail so miserably and want everything handed to them?

    Personally? I blame Labour, trite as that might sound. They have created the culture where everything is OWED to a person instead of EARNED.

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  71. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    glubbster:

    Now we’re getting in a values-based debate which could go on for thousands of words. Fortunately however, most people aren’t Act supporters, so your brand of “kill the poor” politics isn’t going anywhere in this country. i.e. Key has been forced to promise to keep all of Labour’s policies, just to be electable. Keep fighting though, you may even be able to get three seats this election :-)

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  72. Ryan Sproull (7,195 comments) says:

    I wonder why some of them manage this so well without any of the government handouts. And why Kiwi students, who are supposed to come from the No 8 wire stock, fail so miserably and want everything handed to them? Personally? I blame Labour, trite as that might sound. They have created the culture where everything is OWED to a person instead of EARNED.

    I have not found this attitude present at all amongst any of the very many students I have met over the last few years.

    Which students have you been talking to, who have this attitude?

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  73. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    ‘value-based’ – sounds like some socialist justification for your raging sense of entitlement.
    If you were so ‘valuable’, you could have topped up your allowance through a job or borrowing from a bank and then easily paid it back on gaining employment. Since you are not, you prefer even greater state subsidies.

    Also, if you had read my earlier posts instead of trawling, you would realise that I am not an Act supporter. But in more stark terms, given a choice between Liabour or Act, I would go for Act any day.

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  74. Scribe (80 comments) says:

    Someone else may have asked these questions, but I’ll ask them (again):

    1. How much is this going to cost?
    2. And where is the money going to come from? Didn’t Dr Cullen say the cupboard was — for all intents and purposes — bare? This is a hundred of millions, if not multiple-billion, dollar policy.

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  75. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    Act may gain a seat or two.
    What a pity Liabour looks set to lose around 15.

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  76. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    glubbster – Whatever. You just keep on pointlessly hammering away at your keybored. There’s no point in arguing with a right wing troll, who’s experience of the world is so detatched from reality that they can only get about 1% of the adult population to support it. See ya later pal.

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  77. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    Sproull has no answers re costs we have already asked him and he remains silent on the hard issues but simply nitpicks (reminds me of some of the Liabour trawlers).

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  78. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    DPF

    That would have been a far more logical thing to do than interest free loans which just encourage unnecessary borrowing.

    There is nothing unnecessary about borrowing money interest free and investing it. Look at Labour & NZ1, they both did exactly that. They had interest free “stolen” tax payers money and they invested it for a year or two before they paid it back (or not in the case of “I don’t need to be accountable – I’m the God of all things honest and you better believe me!” Winston)

    Nothing wrong with it, just follow the example of the politicians and stuff ya-self full on the fat of the tax payers…

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  79. rolla_fxgt (311 comments) says:

    $350 a week is far far too much. I’m a student & I think i’d have to be constantly drunk to spend that a week. Either that or spend my normal amount & save the rest to pay off my loan.
    Only people who are going to go for this are the dumb students, and their socialist parents (i.e the Chardonnay socialists).

    Why don’t they just increase the parental income thresholds (effectively costs the govt nothing, as some parents will work longer, or fully declare their income), increase both allowance & loan to $200 a week (as those of us who can’t get an allowance shouldn’t be discriminated against), and if they want to, make all uni’s have a similar scheme to Otago where if you fail more than half of a years study you get a warning, fail more than half again & you get academic probation with regular check ups with a course advisor, fail again & you’re banned for i think its 5 years. Or a version of this, makes students keep their marks up, and not just spend their time at the pub.

    Students need more income to live, but not a ridiculously large handout, just a bit more to recognise that the less financial stress a student is under the better they will perform.

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  80. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    I am a National supporter you ignorant fool Nome. Given that National enjoy 51% support in the polls, I think your Liabour ideology is doomed for the foreseeable future. And by the way I took the political compass test and am happy to show you my results, which show me as quite moderate (centrist).
    I suspect you would be closest to communist…;)

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  81. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    Fortunately however, most people aren’t Act supporters

    Quite right, principles in politics are never a popular thing, imagine making parliament accountable for how it spends public money – it will never catch on.

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  82. dime (9,977 comments) says:

    i think my fav experience during uni was this..

    i rock up to income support at the start of the xmas break. i had been living off my student loan, but that had run out. the lady tells me i cant have the emergency unemployment benefit, but i can get the normal dole.. cool! then she goes – but you will have to drop out of university HAHAHAHA

    so my options were a – go hungry, b – drop out and get a benefit :P

    anyway, went to a different office and got the emergency benefit, which i needed for a wekk til i found a job..

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  83. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    “Ryan – I managed full time uni, part time jobs and also brought a house (the joys of up to eight flatmates). Did my degree in four years. Came out with no loan, no debts and a pretty much paid off house. It can be done.

    Ryan – “Yes, it can, but are you also a tremendously boring person?”

    I don’t know. Ask your girlfriend.

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  84. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Pascal, the vast majority of foreign students have pretty wealthy parents – that’s why they can afford to a) leave the country and b) pay triple fees (not double). That may be why they don’t need state handouts. They can’t get a loan or allowance either because they aren’t citizens – more money that mum and dad stump up on. Doesn’t really matter if they’re from a ‘poor’ country or not – there are always rich people in these countries.

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  85. Ryan Sproull (7,195 comments) says:

    I don’t know. Ask your girlfriend.

    Haha, oooooooooooooooh! :)

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  86. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    Roger nome – “glubbster – na, I would feel guilty receiving $350 per week for study. After all i survived on $130 per week under Jenny “sink her” Shipley – although my diet was absolute crap, and my health suffered because of it.”

    perhaps you should have eaten better. We had a vege garden and never went hungry or suffered scurvy. Your health suffered because you did not take care of yourself. Sorry – forgot you are a leftie so cannot understand the concept of looking after yourself – my mistake.

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  87. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Of course some poor students get out of their country, but that would very likely be on a paid scholarship courtesy of some taxpayers either there or in NZ (administered through NZAID). I’m sure at least a few work/study too…

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  88. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    # RRM (673) Add karma Subtract karma –4 Says:
    July 15th, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    “perhaps the government should subsidise higher education because roads and office buildings won’t design themselves, and sick heart valves won’t operate on themselves?”

    YES, there IS A CASE for the government to subsidise training for THESE things. That is nothing to do with the USELESS graduates being churned out by the system who have NO SKILLS REMOTELY as useful as road building or doing heart ops.

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  89. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    roger nome (3696) Add karma Subtract karma –6 Says:
    July 15th, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the Public Treasury.”

    “Sounds like a good old fascist’s rallying cry. You know, during the 1930s, when labour movements around the world gathered momentum in response to the inequities of free-market capitalism (aka the great depression), industrialists and bankers all over the world called for a fascist response. Let’s not go there again hey red”

    The solution; a democracy with a constitution that bans transfers of citizens money via taxation and bribes. Simple. That is not “fascism”.

    The alternative, as outlined by the philosopher Redbaiter so helpfully quoted, is to continue the slide into “bondage” to totalitarian government that might as well BE fascist regardless of how it is dressed up in terms like “people’s democracy” and the like……..

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  90. GPT1 (2,122 comments) says:

    Some days I think the government is specifically out to get me. Actually as a middle class white male may be it is. But back to my point. Paid for education, no student allowance. Get out in time for a tax hike and housing boom. 9 good years of an economy and as a wage earner I get to just look at it from a distance and dream but somehow manage to buy a small house in a rising market (one bedroom but a separate living area so I must be a rich prick). Then the government offers first home buyer discounts using my tax dollars. Brilliant. Then they subsidise families with my tax dollars meaning I am paying tens if not hundreds of times the tax of families earning the same and more than me. Then my tax cut is cancelled because I wasn’t grateful enough but at least they gave me another week’s holiday that I do not have time to use because unlike public servants (who I pay for)I don’t have a job that I can just walk away from for some time off. So finally, grudgingly, with back pocket inflation (petrol, interest rates, food) running at 25-odd% the bastards promise to give me some of my money back – as long as I pay for the next generation to go through the university that I paid for.

    I tell you, the Generation X of the 90s will be the “pay for it at least twice” generation.

    Whinge over!

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  91. Ryan Sproull (7,195 comments) says:

    YES, there IS A CASE for the government to subsidise training for THESE things. That is nothing to do with the USELESS graduates being churned out by the system who have NO SKILLS REMOTELY as useful as road building or doing heart ops.

    Again, the pursuit of pure knowledge (as well as the pursuit of creative arts) are valuable in ways that can’t be measured in dollars and cents. There is more to life than materalistic productivity.

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  92. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    Ryan – I wouldn’t try to appeal to their sense of philanthropy or higher calling, you’re on a hiding to nothing there!
    Keep the argument framed in terms of their bottom line, so that they can understand.

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  93. Jd (22 comments) says:

    “Again, the pursuit of pure knowledge (as well as the pursuit of creative arts) are valuable in ways that can’t be measured in dollars and cents. There is more to life than materalistic productivity.”

    That’s something I expect from someone taking postgraduate degree in philosophy. The real issue is should a cleaner living in Onehunga pay for your pursuit of pure knowledge or would she be better of spending it to buy her family clothes and food.

    PS Why don’t you get a useful degree like law or engineering.

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  94. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    On the basis of RRM & Sproull’s ‘compelling’ arguments, we may as well increase taxes considerably so that we can spend more money in all sectors where philanthropy could play a part (just about everywhere) (and also vote Liabour).

    Realistically, this is just not possible given the current economic climate and bracket creep on our taxes. Liabour has already spent a whole lot in Health and Education and with what outcomes? 40% of our kids cant even pass Level 2 NCEA and you are telling me we need to be philanthropic about student allowances? Where are your priorities RRM?

    Until you address the economic argument, how we can pay, show why its such a high priority and provide justification why the government should further subsidise students, despite 70% tuition subsidies, student allowances and the interest free loan giveaway, your comments are better placed in dreamland.

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  95. Ryan Sproull (7,195 comments) says:

    Until you address the economic argument, how we can pay, show why its such a high priority and provide justification why the government should further subsidise students, despite 70% tuition subsidies, student allowances and the interest free loan giveaway, your comments are better placed in dreamland.

    Obviously, if it’s financially impossible, it shouldn’t (can’t) be done. But that is not what I have been addressing. I have not been talking in this thread to people who say we can’t afford it. I’ve been talking to people who say that it wouldn’t be worth doing even if we can. I have been talking to people who see tertiary study purely in terms of how much money it can make. I believe there is more to study (and more to life) than materialistic productivity, so I have been responding to that attitude.

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  96. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    I believe there is more to study (and more to life) than materialistic productivity

    I believe there is more to non-materialistic productivity than scholarly endeavours but I don’t see any of those getting subsidised by the government…

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  97. Ryan Sproull (7,195 comments) says:

    I believe there is more to non-materialistic productivity than scholarly endeavours but I don’t see any of those getting subsidised by the government…

    No? NZ on Air funding? Creative NZ funding? Funding for sports?

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  98. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    glubbster: What an angry little man you are!

    The traditional (and only) alternative to Labour’s spending on services and failing to improve them (much) is National’s under-funding and running down of services. Take your pick.

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  99. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    labrator: “I believe there is more to non-materialistic productivity than scholarly endeavours but I don’t see any of those getting subsidised by the government…”

    Hmm, let me think of a few that I’m subsidising:

    Private motor vehicle users subsidising (through their petrol tax) a road transport industry whose road user taxes now match my petrol tax for the first time in over a decade…?

    Private motor vehicle users who have never been injured in an accident, paying ACC levies on their rego to subsidise the over-represented slices of the ACC demographic like hammerhands and rugby players…?

    Mother/child bonding units in women’s prisons that have nicer furnishings and bigger tvs than my flat…?

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  100. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “glubbster: What an angry little man you are!”

    What a stupid comment. Merely because he opposes the doctrine you’re so hopelessly infected with does not mean he’s angry. That said, considering the way you commies persistently vote yourself free access to the earnings of all other New Zealanders, he’s got every right to be. Get some principles loser.

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  101. helmet (807 comments) says:

    Nome couldn’t survive on $130 (free) bucks a week? Poor lamb, his health suffered? What a moron. I suppose he is a bit special because nobody wants to employ or work with the wanker, but for anyone else who claims that student allowances don’t pay enough: Get. A. Fucking. Part. Time. Job. It’s what the rest of us did.

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  102. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    I’m glad to see you’re against some subsidies then RRM, Ryan didn’t show me his cards. So what is the test for when the government should or should not subsidise things?

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  103. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    Sproull, given the status quo, its not really relevant whether there should be subsidies on tertiary education or not as their removal is just not realistic. I actually agree that education is part-private good part-public good. Its unfortunate you argue the obvious point yet fail to deliver on the more difficult question as to why an increase in allowances each student receives (rather than the qualification aspect) and reduction of fees should be a priority for the incoming National Government…

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  104. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    Thank you for your interest labrator – you can probably get your answer from my objections above:

    I’m not interested in subsidising things that are perfectly viable businesses for somebody already (like trucking), I’m not interested in subsidising people’s recovery from self-inflicted “accidents” that are predictable and not accidents at all (Rugby injuries), and I’m not interested in subsidising the lifestyles of criminals when “making them sorry” could be done much cheaper.

    I am however very interested in funding the things that add to the quality of being alive, and make the human race bigger than just competitive pond life struggling for survival… I.e. science & technology, art & music, reading and writing and new ideas, because these things are great to have around, but they are always being marginalised by mediocre people who are 100% focussed on the bottom line and who tend to either undervalue or outright forget these things.

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  105. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    Redbater – I’m not a communist and I’ve never voted myself access to any of your money, and I can assure you I have all sorts of principles. You’re setting yourself up for being labelled “angry’ and “little” yourself there… ;-)

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  106. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull “Again, the pursuit of pure knowledge (as well as the pursuit of creative arts) are valuable in ways that can’t be measured in dollars and cents. There is more to life than materalistic productivity.”

    Sorry for seeming to pick on your comments Ryan – just the way it is today. Yes, there is more to life than materialistic productivity. Unfortunately that productivity is what makes it possible for people to do sociology degrees and/or become a permanent wackademic who spends all their time slagging off the system and people who actually make it possible for them to have the lifestyle they have.

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  107. big bruv (13,923 comments) says:

    RRM

    “and I can assure you I have all sorts of principles”

    I fucking bet you do!, all your “principles” will involve people like me paying for the bloody things.

    I have to laugh when the left accuse (falsely as it happens) right wingers of a lack of charity, leftist scum are more than happy to be extra charitable when they are spending other peoples money.

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  108. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    Bruv – I admire that as an opening gambit. I look forward to you explaining what you mean by any of it.

    If it is of any help:
    Who are “People like you”?
    What is this “Right wingers charity” that “leftist scum” are so disparaging about?

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  109. reid (16,491 comments) says:

    When I was a student in the early 80’s there was no international wage gap and hence no long-term emigration. Now there is.

    Education is the most valuable thing in the world. It’s what parents give to their children.

    Does that mean that people other than the parents should give as well?

    I think, of course, no problem.

    However, it’s a bit regrettable to see my taxes leaving on a jumbo and not coming back and paying back and thereby replenishing the pool. If we keep letting this happen it’s a one-way street is it not?

    If we can solve that problem, I don’t really give a shit what Liarbore wants to bribe one of its largest remaining demographics with in 2008. I think it’s deplorable and revealing of the venal politics that is leftism. I also think the sum is interesting, in that the size indicates the desperation. But I don’t really care because I know that Liarbore will lose so it’ll never happen and at least half if not two-thirds of those students will become the Nat’s Base, if only the damn things would care to hang around.

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  110. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    The Big Bribe (TM):

    ‘Cause when Labour offers the constituency something, it’s a BRIBE…

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  111. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    RRM, I do enjoy your view that those young people who want to start a
    business in the transport sector should get no help.
    But those who study the felling of trees to build waka should be well funded.
    What happened to the fair and equal society ?

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  112. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    I guess that’s kind of my point RRM. Nice feelings about things that one group of people feel is important is not a quantifiable reason. It’d be nice to really enshrine the rules around what the government should subsidise. I personally don’t think the government should subsidise art, I can’t think of any great artist that were ever state subsidised in the creation of great artwork (though I may be wrong). However, that’s not to say that the government doesn’t have a place in supporting establishments which allow artists to display their work or interact with other artists etc.

    In terms of the students, I think each student should have the full cost of their degree allocated to their name so that they know exactly what they’re getting in to. Then we can help them repay the cost of that loan by tax breaks while they do something for the country that gave it to them. A aussie based Kiwi girl wrote to the SMH the other week: Aussies should be thankful for the free education all the kiwis that turn up every week got.
    , the kiwi government is saving us $200k each and creating instant tax payers.

    It’s us that are on the other side of that arrangement and this latest funding change idea won’t alter that in anyway. In fact, it may encourage it.

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  113. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,752 comments) says:

    big bruv states at 12.36 pm:

    If John Key does a “me too” on this policy I will bloody well scream

    I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream.

    I’m right with you there big bruv.

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  114. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    One of the biggest problems we have in NZ is the attitude to education and academic study. NCEA has not helped this trend.
    I would rather our education dollars focus on changing this attitude as well as addressing performance at an earlier (primary school) stage.
    However, there is an ability for the incoming National Government to identify the areas in which NZ needs to keep their professionals (ie Doctors, Nurses etc) and then use special incentives to keep these people through more generous bonding for a medium term over and above the 10% discount on interest free student loans offered.

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  115. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull: I have not found this attitude present at all amongst any of the very many students I have met over the last few years.

    You’ve not been in New Zealand for very long, have you?

    http://union.org.nz/about/student-fees-protest
    http://www.salient.org.nz/news/students-protest-for-money-told-get-real
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0804/S00147.htm

    And so on and so forth. This includes everyone who will (rightly) vote for yet another bribe from the Labour Party to reduce student loans, fees, accomodation supplements or whatever they will use as their electoral lolly scramble this year to get the student vote.

    New Zealand students live off a sense of entitlement for fees, accomodation and so forth. They see a tertiary education as a right and a requirement, rather than a priviledge. But that is what happens when a culture turns a university into the means to earn a degree for a job, rather than a means to educate yourself and to learn.

    If you actually open your eyes and see what is happening out there it would have been obvious.

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  116. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    stephen: Pascal, the vast majority of foreign students have pretty wealthy parents

    You miss the salient point. Which, honestly, I’m not surprised at. You show all the hallmarks of a socialist and it’s becoming increasingly obvious that anybody who subscribes to that political ideology is thick as mud.

    So. Not all foreign students are here because of wealthy parents. From my perspective and within the demographic that I know personally the opposite is true. They are self-made people who wanted to educate themselves further and worked on their own to achieve this goal. Others have cobbled together their student fees from their extended families. Others worked and saved for a few years to have enough money to come study here.

    And as you rightly pointed out, they pay a LOT more than your average Kiwi. And yet your average Kiwi is still bitching about high fees, how unfair it is to them to have to pay for their accomodation and so forth. Cry me a river, would you?

    If somebody from a poor country without wealthy parents can travel overseas to educate themselves because they are determined to do so, whilst paying their own way for both accomodation and a 3 times higher cost of studying then what the hell is wrong with you living in a comfortable, first world democracy?

    Attitude. That is the difference. Gimmegimmegimme versus I can and I will.

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  117. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Pascal, we obviously hang around different demographics – I was a bit remiss in suggesting that the ‘fact’ that the vast majority have wealthy parents, when it was just in my experience.

    In any case, I think this would be a rather outrageous bribe which as Redbaiter points out appeals to one’s baser instincts for taking whatever we can get, regardless of the cost to others (but it get’s Labour some votes – wahay!). Means testing would certainly be a massive improvement on what we currently have (and Key’s 10% off idea would certainly lower the debt the country is incurring as a result of the no-interest policy), or at least lowering the age it is assumed that we are no longer reliant on parents by about, oh, 5-7years (I think it’s about 25 now). Or possibly some sort of combination of both.

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  118. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    RRM: I am however very interested in funding the things that add to the quality of being alive, and make the human race bigger than just competitive pond life struggling for survival

    Fantastic. I have to agree with you, those are noble ideals to strive for. Now why don’t you open your chequebook and write a donation to the University? Or pick a student and subsidise their education through a sponsorship. Then you can fund things that do everything you want it to do.

    If I had the money I’d certainly look at doing that. Unfortunately, I don’t have that much disposable income because the Labour government takes it all off me to fund Hip-Hop courses, Twilight Golf and so forth as they focus on “bums on seats” education.

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  119. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Pascal, “bums on seats” got the boot – I don’t know who introduced that scheme, but it’s all about the Performance Based Research Fund now.

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  120. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    “Unfortunately, I don’t have that much disposable income because the Labour government takes it all off me”

    You could afford to shell out $50,000 to permanently endow an undergraduate scholarship if you got another $50 a week from National’s tax cuts?

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  121. djm210 (16 comments) says:

    1. The means tested allowance is a joke — it is completely unfair. why should people whose parents earn less get more money. My parents don’t help me. very few people i know have parents who do. i’ll tell you who gets the loan. Anyone with self employed parents (such as farmers). Their parents pay themselves a measly wage and then put their profits straight into a trust. For those not so lucky — we are forced to work part time to pay the bills. I work 15 hours a week and then have 19 hours of class a week. I am studying law, which requires at least two hours reading per class. thats a 53 hour week. Exam time is absolute hell! With my $150 loan and my $160 a week job I only just get by. My flat is squallered and freezing with no money to pay for the heating. As a consequence, I (just like every other student) am perpetually sick.

    2. I think every student an allowance of $100 + a potential loan of $150-200 a week. You want an education — you can pay for it with a loan! Either that or let every student get a loan of up to $300 — with no allowance.

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  122. Ryan Sproull (7,195 comments) says:

    You’ve not been in New Zealand for very long, have you?

    Pascal, which students have you been talking to in person to get your impression that they feel like they are owed everything and do not expect or desire to earn anything?

    http://union.org.nz/about/student-fees-protest
    http://www.salient.org.nz/news/students-protest-for-money-told-get-real
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0804/S00147.htm

    Students protest about fee increases, yes. I still do not see an attitude of believing they’re owed, rather than expecting to earn.

    And so on and so forth. This includes everyone who will (rightly) vote for yet another bribe from the Labour Party to reduce student loans, fees, accomodation supplements or whatever they will use as their electoral lolly scramble this year to get the student vote.

    New Zealand students live off a sense of entitlement for fees, accomodation and so forth. They see a tertiary education as a right and a requirement, rather than a priviledge. But that is what happens when a culture turns a university into the means to earn a degree for a job, rather than a means to educate yourself and to learn.

    If you actually open your eyes and see what is happening out there it would have been obvious.

    Pascal, rather than repeat exactly what you said to inspire my question, how about you answer it?

    That question again: which students have you been talking to?

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  123. djm210 (16 comments) says:

    3. why should someone over the age of 25 get the full allowance. completely unfair! mature students need to be discouraged. they are a drain on universities everywhere. they smell bad, are completely self righteous, and ask the most ridiculous questions — such as: ‘can i please go to the toilet?’ Fuck you mature student. You are an idiot.

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  124. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    stephen: You could afford to shell out $50,000 to permanently endow an undergraduate scholarship if you got another $50 a week from National’s tax cuts?

    Are you impaired in some way? Did anybody mention National? Did anybody mention $50? You’re limiting your options by looking at the world through a Labour Good, National Bad filter. There is a plethora of options available. Do you think a student would welcome an additional $400 a month? Of course they would.

    But it is still missing the fucking point and quibbling over a minor aspect whilst ignoring the elephant in parliament.

    There is no reason for the country as a whole to subsidise the sub-standard education system the Labour party has foisted on this country.

    People who wish to have a tertiary education are more than welcome to pay for it. If they cannot afford to do so they are more than welcome to save for a few years. Or, if they believe there is a commercial reason for their degree, to borrow the funding necessary to do so. After all, if they need the degree to get a job then surely the additional money they earn will pay their way. Or they can study part-time. There are so many damn options.

    In the same way people who wish to fund education are welcome to do so. Case in point RRM. He is interested in funding the the things that add to the quality of being alive. What is preventing him from doing so? Nothing. Except perhaps the inherent belief that it is somehow the government’s responsibility rather than that of the individual. Do you think RRM donates to a university? Or sponsors some students’ books for his/her studies? I doubt it. His comments strike me as the type of person who expects everybody else to pay for it through tax, rather than somebody who would be willing to pay for it out of his own pocket because he believes in it.

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  125. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Sorry, always tend to assume people round here are National supporters, which I realise is an insult to ‘real’ right wingers.

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  126. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    Pascal – or the people who wish to have a tertiary education could all move to Australia, Europe or the US when they are about 14, and leave the working class heroes of this country to design their own fertilizers and highways, and find their own cures for cancer…?

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  127. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    You’d be impaired too if you saw Helen Clark at the supermarket in a full tracksuit…

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  128. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    No, you have to understand the realities of life.
    We have to churn out more and more graduates to fill the jobs being created in Wellington every day.
    I am looking at an advertisement for a senior position in the Department of Conservation.
    You might think this would be a position in saving endangered tax-paying species or similar.
    You would be wrong.
    They need a Social Science Advisor to advise the senior managers in the Research and Development Group at Head Office in Wellington.
    This person will report to the Heritage Appreciation Manager and will explain what Social Science can contribute to their understanding of my appreciation of Heritage.
    As I read the six page job description full of terms like “leverage and broker research”, and “emotional intelligence”, and “align deliverables with managers’ expectations” I find my appreciation of Heritage disappearing out the window.
    But I am sure we can now appreciate why we have to fund students so generously to study at Universities because how else can we fill all these positions?
    The last thing we want filling university seats is students who long for a fine education. Anyone with a fine education working in this kind of position would soon throw themselves out of the nearest “historic” window.

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  129. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    stephen: You’d be impaired too if you saw Helen Clark at the supermarket in a full tracksuit…

    Mate, when my wife had her wisdom teeth done it was at Helen Clark’s orthodontist. I ran into her and her security detail just as they were leaving the building. That was four or five years ago. I’m still scarred ;)

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  130. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    never fear, photoshop is here…

    anyway.

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  131. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    …Helen Clark’s orthodontist…

    Now I believe in tooth fairies.

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  132. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Ha, some orthodontist!

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  133. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Which was the point, of course.

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