A pity eight year olds can’t vote

October 13th, 2008 at 4:59 pm by David Farrar

There were two announcements today.

announced it would borrow more than $200 million a year (once fully implemented) to give out cash to students. It will not result in one more student being educated. It is simply a cash hand out to students.

announced it would spend $47 million a year on boosting literacy and numeracy in schools, because almost 1 in five kids are leaving school unable to read, write or count. There is no point in keeping kids at school until they are 18, if you have let them get past age eight without checking their numeracy and literacy.

It’s a pity the eight year olds don’t get to vote.

The funny (as in sad funny not ha ha funny) thing about Labour’s announcement is that at the PREU lockup, I turned to a journalist and said “There goes any chance of universal ”. He agreed with me. It was inconceivable that after announcing a decade of deficits and $20 billion more debt, that the Government would be so reckless as to do such a thing. I guess we both under-estimated their willingness to fuck up the economy in order to retain power.

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128 Responses to “A pity eight year olds can’t vote”

  1. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    this policy makes perfect sense..dpf..especially when going into ‘troubled times’..

    would you rather gangs of unemployed youths roaming the streets/doing crime..?

    educate them..!..educate them..!

    we’ll be poor..but literate…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  2. Oscars Grouchy Mum (83 comments) says:

    I’m sorry but this announcement is nothing short of cynical.

    I am one of those poor unfortunates who started university when student loans were first introduced. So I not only paid full interest my parents were means tested and I didn’t qualify for an allowance. My first year in work my bloody loan went up not down due to interest.

    By 2005 my loan was paid. The interest free loan annoyed me, but this takes the fucking cake. I cannot describe who much I dislike Helen Clark and her free loading, self serving pack of swine.

    I think Matthew Hooten has the appropriate description, but I don’t want demerits.

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  3. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    and nationals’ plan/idea..is to force eight year old nippers..and schools/teachers..

    ..into some ill-thought-out/knee-jerk-reaction universal test/exam..

    ..exactly what fucken good will that do..?

    ..i’m almost feeling sorry for you nattys..

    ..it’s gong to be a long few weeks eh..?

    ..leading inexorably to the banquet of defeat..

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  4. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    The stupid left wing pricks are so detached from reality they think that in a fifth rate economy, somehow students will be enabled of a first class education.

    The reality is that every day that the left (Helen Klark and her gang) remain in control of NZ is a day the opportunity for a real education for any student becomes less and less. If there is one thing the left are known for throughout history and around the globe, its by any real and substantial measure, making an absolute disaster of the education system. Any parent truly wanting their child to be educated would be a fool to vote Labour.

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  5. Right of way is Way of Right (1,121 comments) says:

    One is an education policy, the other is a bribe.

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  6. Kimble (4,434 comments) says:

    “..exactly what fucken good will that do..?”

    The newest definition of irony: phule asking what good could come from a comprehensive set of criteria by which literacy is measured in New Zealand.

    Double the irony: phule just made the argument that the student allowance is a good thing because it will be, in practice, an unemployment benefit that requires a daily activity.

    God forbid that activity be actual work, though!

    No work for the dole from phuley, no no no, it is read for the dole!

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  7. DamnedAngry (231 comments) says:

    If there was ever an example of the need for lifting our eduction levels, you only have to look at Philu’s incoherrent ramblings.

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  8. Graeme Edgeler (3,283 comments) says:

    DPF says: “almost 1 in five kids are leaving school unable to read, write or count.”

    In reality, the statistic you are using states: “almost 1 in five kids are leaving school unable to read, write or count to a level sufficient enough to pass level 1 NCEA.”

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  9. Shunda barunda (2,982 comments) says:

    You’ve gotta wonder whether labour MPs are even kiwi’s ,they’ve got so little regard for our country.
    This is becoming real “The Simpson’s” kind of politics.
    Reminds me of the episode where the tentacled aliens took over America by winning the elections in a Bill Clinton skin.
    I wonder if they are wearing Cullen and Clark skin’s now?

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  10. John Ansell (874 comments) says:

    “I guess we both under-estimated their willingness to fuck up the economy in order to retain power.”

    Or to regain power by booby-trapping the economy for National – like they did in 1990.

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  11. mawm (211 comments) says:

    Philu – you are a farking hypocrit. To even propose that you can leave the masses uneducated, unable to read or write (but dependent on the dole and voting labour) and create a upper class of the tertiary educated (I guess they will vote National once they are members of the BRT, that is if they don’t use their education to flee this country that is choosing the low road to prosperity). Marx must be turning in his grave and I guess that National is the party that is concerned about poor in this country.

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  12. Jafa (38 comments) says:

    John Key is on to something here by targeting literacy. I filled in at Mt Eden as a prison doctor several years ago. I was staggered at just how poor the communication skills, lack of eye contact and so on was. Most of them could barely say a word let alone read and write. My neighbour who is a decile 1 school teacher says in ‘certain ethnic groups’, the average reading age is 3 when they turn up to school at age 5. I don’t pretend to be an expert in education but what I find detestable about Labour is all their ‘policies’ are only created with the idea of buying your vote. If folks want to get crime down then getting kids reading skills up is not a bad way to go. Giving handouts to adults of voting age has to be treated with the contempt it deserves.

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  13. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,889 comments) says:

    Graeme Edgler, so what’s the difference? Just send them to university where you can teach them nothing useful except how to be good little Labour voters.

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  14. Vyvyan (17 comments) says:

    I’m a student. I don’t want my degree which I’m actually working hard to be devalued by the masses cashing in on this. I don’t mind paying my loan, its my choice to educate myself further, and I’m hoping the pay off will come in the future. My entire flat is reasonably left leaning, but this just sickens us, and we’re voting National. Ugh good bye Auntie Helen.

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  15. Lindsay Addie (1,473 comments) says:

    The MSM need to stop fawning over Labour and start dismembering policies that reek of pork barrel politics like this one does.

    Spineless pricks.

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  16. GPT1 (2,118 comments) says:

    And the promise is for some time after the next election. Unbelievable. A simplistic bribe.

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  17. kiki (425 comments) says:

    So the state controlled education system fails 1 in 5 children of whom most are boys and then if they find a job will tax them to fund those that have managed to succeed. Those with the most chance of success are in decile 10 and private schools and to get into either of these you need money.

    So the poor pay again. It’s all about the elite and the elite are those with the power. Labours policies will only entrench the elite further.

    The best thing about labour (and nationals me too policies) is that they are just churning debt and calling it growth and you can’t beat the market for ever. Eventually this ideology will die a bloody death and the pendulum will swing.

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  18. Lee (610 comments) says:

    ‘exactly what fucken good will that do”

    Let me see….help them to learn how to read and write? Gee…your right, what a bad idea :)

    Face it philu, National just released a policy that really does look to a better future, and Labour just announced another welfare hand out for the rich.

    But then nobody expects intelligent commentary from a drug addict and lifetime welfare bludger.

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  19. paradigm (452 comments) says:

    Philu says:
    “..into some ill-thought-out/knee-jerk-reaction universal test/exam..”

    Philu this may surprise you, but school attendance is not enough: you have to achive some level of learning or going to school in the first place is worthless. Assesment is the only way to measure achivement in school, so some form of test is needed. Incidentally the need for achievement over mere attendance is why it is pointless to keep people in school till 18. The ones who don’t want to be there simply won’t learn anything, and would be far better of going into some sort of vocational training. Moreover they will inevitably either disrupt the more academically inclined students or have a lesson plan consisting entirely of “recreational PE”.

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  20. dave (988 comments) says:

    would the cash hand out to students mean that students wil be getting extra money so they can pay higher university fees because the Goverbment will reduce funding to universities?

    DPF, my six year old can read , write and count. Shall I send him off to work now? He may be able to bring home some money to pay for my increased university fees.

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  21. NeillR (351 comments) says:

    We must lead the charge to get Labour to announce the policy details of their “mini-budget”. There is no way they should be allowed to go into the election without a mandate for their secret agenda of cancelling tax cuts and increasing taxes – for that is the only viable explanation for how Cullen will pay for this profligacy.

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  22. goodgod (1,348 comments) says:

    More mumbled lies from Labour – the cupboard is bare, but they’ve found an extra $200 million! Outstanding! But wait, the books say we are heavily in debt, oh well, that just means nice Mr. Key will scale back his tax cut promises for us.

    Does anyone believe this shit? Where are those snivelling, squealing, “I’m not a liar”, journalists now?

    All quiet of course. Hey, Winstons’s all in the clear everybody, please, vote for him not that naughty Key man! Labour’s found some extra cash…vote for them! … What’s that? Yesterday we told you there was no money? Oh no forget that today we have a new story!

    Front page material? Informing the masses of the facts? Not likely. Fuckin’ liars. Propagandists and liars.

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  23. paradigm (452 comments) says:

    mawm says:
    “Marx must be turning in his grave and I guess that National is the party that is concerned about poor in this country.”

    Taking a highly self interested view of political parties can provides a certain degree of illumination here: the right tends to have better off people vote for them, so it is in their interest to increase the number of people with good job prospects. Thus they will adopt policy that raises people out of poverty. The left gets most of its support from the poor and downtrodden, the state dependents. Thus they will continue to provide generous handouts to them, but not try to raise them above needing handouts.

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  24. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    such simplistic thinking is so redolent of nationals’ ‘solutions’..

    ..those children falling behind can be already identified in the system..

    ..and yes..more targetted funding for that is needed..

    ..this 8 yr old exam does nothing but impose the huge costs of a new beaurocratic behemoth..

    ..major exam stress for children/families/schools..

    ..and will totally weigh the educating of 8 yr olds..in a negative way..

    ..what a joke..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  25. simo (150 comments) says:

    Watch the lefty media suck this up like a K’Road hooker, and spin it out as a “sustainable solution” to the our Albanian education system, how can Liarbour promise this universal allowance when the tax take is shrinking by the day, god knows what it will look like in 2012.

    If the mini budget cancels the tax cuts after the election, Comrade Molotov will be very busy.

    Throw these bastards out, or the mob will do it in a much uglier fashion like 1789

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  26. kisekiman (219 comments) says:

    Desperate stuff from Labour but I doubt it will gain many more student votes than they had already. The rest of the public will see it for what it is, unaffordable and unprincipled vote buying.

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  27. Oscars Grouchy Mum (83 comments) says:

    Barry Soper thought the $210 million figure was interesting – especially as a previous treasury report suggested a universal student allowance scheme would cost $728 million. Wouldn’t surprise me that Labour are trying to fudge the figures.

    Also, on one news tonight I got the distinct impression that John Key was looking pissed off. If he is – GOOD about bloody time.

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  28. Viking2 (11,420 comments) says:

    It irks me because there are a lot of other people e.g. young men, who don’t go to university but still spend a lot of time and money on educating themselves into their trade or chosen vocation. Take for example Chef’s, motor mechanics. even dare I say it truck drivers. If you doubt the cost just go ring up the training agencies and find out what it will cost a person to achieve a series of licenses like forklift, truck and trailer ,etc. Why should they pay and students get a cheap ride.
    The shit thing of course is that the people who do go to work without a uni education pay for those at uni who then promptly decide to OE. Even worse though is they eventually have to go to the tradesman and then treat him like he is a nobody. beneath contempt and without brain power.

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  29. gee90 (90 comments) says:

    Clearly it can’t be a bad policy. Or a bribe. If it was, the Opposition would be saying so. That’s their job, right?

    On One News John Key described the policy as “interesting”. That’s telling them, JK!

    If National have condemned this, they’ve certainly done it softly.

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  30. Chthoniid (2,044 comments) says:

    Jafa writes I filled in at Mt Eden as a prison doctor several years ago. I was staggered at just how poor the communication skills, lack of eye contact and so on was. Most of them could barely say a word let alone read and write.

    That’s a good point. Most of the public benefit of education is loaded towards the early years. Having literate people able to communicate is increasingly important. Most of the benefits of higher education is I’m afraid, go to the people who get the degrees.

    A lot of the reason people go to university is simply qualification creep. When you previously needed School Cert to be a teacher, you now need a degree. A degree is a ticket to a decent job without heavy lifting :) Universities are filled with students doing business or arts degrees, not because they aspire to the ideals of higher education, but simply because its their ‘ticket’ out.

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  31. dad4justice (8,148 comments) says:

    I wonder if the eight year olds know that Miss Clark is not as she seems.

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  32. ZenTiger (428 comments) says:

    Meanwhile, a survey of the Universities around the world see NZ ranked lower than last year. We are not even in the top 50 now (but check out Australia): University Rank C-

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  33. Southern Raider (1,811 comments) says:

    All the wankers in Dunedin today clapping will not be around when this comes into affect. We obviously don’t breed very smart students any more.

    Has Labour costed in the associated increase in student loans that this will bring about?

    Does Helen truely think that a growth economy revolves around more arts students?

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  34. Shunda barunda (2,982 comments) says:

    John Key is offering solutions to some of our real problems while Hulun is offering bribes to the ignorant and self centered.
    The socialist enhanced education system is garanteed to provide many voters who will justify this patronising bribe with a “human rights” agenda or some other leftist mantra.
    We all know this will enhance the dumbing down of the population further and thus providing more Labour voters, so it is hardly suprising.
    I guess the question now is how much further will they go to win the election?

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  35. dad4justice (8,148 comments) says:

    Why doesn’t John Key tell the truth about Helen and Peter. Game won then!

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  36. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    DPF said: Labour announced it would borrow more than $200 million a year (once fully implemented) to give out cash to students. It will not result in one more student being educated.

    It probably wouldn’t DPF, but it would encourage more graduates to stay in New Zealand.

    BTW, I’ve given Labour some stick over here about how long it has taken them to realise this.

    As for you Nats, I would have thought that the events of the last month would make you realise that building an economy on debt (which is what the student loans scheme does) is not a very clever idea. Over $10 billion student loan debt on the Government books today! But seems the message hasn’t got through.

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  37. Oscars Grouchy Mum (83 comments) says:

    With all due respect D4J, the truth about Helen and Peter will not make a shred of difference to this campaign. People will vote their wallets and their eyes to the future. Also, that sort of tactic will spun by the media as “dirty politics” and John Key will be seen as the Sarah Palin of NZ politics.

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  38. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    How can John Key spend $47m and get $470m in educational value?

    It’s Simple: Stop demanding that schools function giant social engineering laboratories and re-start them delivering educational basics, followed by value-adding these basics with real-world application.

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  39. kiki (425 comments) says:

    Toad an interesting job with high wages would encourage people to stay. A free education but high tax and commodity job will crush any enthusiasm to stay once the education is done.

    Also the past few months have shown you can’t beat the market and debt is only good if it creates more money than it costs to borrow.

    The last 9 years of “growth” in NZ has mostly been based on debt with labour encouraging this. Immigration and personal debt has fuelled the economy with government spending keeping it roaring along it will end and people will pay. The poor again.

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  40. singlemaltsocialdemocrat (6 comments) says:

    Bill English has described the policy as “an interesting idea”, while saying that National’s policy will be more generous, but not universal. So on one hand, this policy is unaffordable and a bribe, but on the other hand, National’s policy will be more generous.

    I suspect National are rather miffed that their policy has been pre-empted by Labour, hence the venom expressed by DPF.

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  41. slightlyrighty (2,472 comments) says:

    Philu

    Your observations on testing 8 year old children are completely incorrect. Students should be tested at these, and at all levels. How else are we to identify which students are not learning? How else do we target which kids are being left behind, and have no chance of ever accessing the tertiary education system in the first instance?

    Or do we just leave them be, and give more money to the educated at the expense of 8 year old kids?

    Who is looking after the needy? Do universal tertiary student allowances help kids who are failing at primary level? What good is a universal tertiary student allowance to a kid who never mastered “See Dick and Jane!”

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  42. Southern Raider (1,811 comments) says:

    Toad half the people who go to uni shouldn’t actually be there.

    It really pisses me off to pay tax so that someone can take an interest topic or get a policy job.

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  43. big bruv (13,734 comments) says:

    Not one mention of the countries inability to pay for this pledge on TV one news tonight, all we got was Comrade Espiner telling us what a “great political move” this was.

    Meanwhile you have the mustachioed mold chasing after Key and breathlessly asking him “how can we afford that Mr Key” every time he mentions a National party policy.

    This election is all over folks, the fucking dirty low life pinko media scum have decided (no doubts on orders from Clark) that she is NOT TO BE questioned about policy and that a negative story about Labour will have drastic results for their careers.

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  44. big bruv (13,734 comments) says:

    Toad just likes the idea of higher taxes.

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  45. Buggerlugs (1,592 comments) says:

    Yep, sorry Toad but this won’t encourage graduates to stay if the economy is still going down the shitter and there’s a bunch of centre-lefties in power.

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  46. s.russell (1,621 comments) says:

    Both TV3 and TVNZ bulletins on the campaign were larded with spin about how Labour was scoring points over National. Their political reporters seem to believe that this is all that matters.

    However, it seemed to me that here was Clark and Cullen playing petty politics over keeping the loan guarantee as a surprise, and offering a naked bribe to students.

    And here was John Key, calm, collected and reasonable, acting like a statesman and trying to rise above the pettiness.

    Maybe I am biased and saw what I would like to see. Maybe on the other hand, the viewers thought the reporters were wankers, and were actually more interested in substance than spin.

    In which case, who REALLY won the points?

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  47. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    ” John Key will be seen as the Sarah Palin of NZ politics.”

    If only……!

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  48. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    Viking2 (82) 3 0 Says:

    October 13th, 2008 at 6:40 pm
    “It irks me because there are a lot of other people e.g. young men, who don’t go to university but still spend a lot of time and money on educating themselves into their trade or chosen vocation. Take for example Chef’s, motor mechanics. even dare I say it truck drivers. If you doubt the cost just go ring up the training agencies and find out what it will cost a person to achieve a series of licenses like forklift, truck and trailer ,etc. Why should they pay and students get a cheap ride.
    The shit thing of course is that the people who do go to work without a uni education pay for those at uni who then promptly decide to OE. Even worse though is they eventually have to go to the tradesman and then treat him like he is a nobody. beneath contempt and without brain power.”

    Charles Murray has written some interesting stuff on this; Google the following essays for yourself if you’re interested:

    “For Most People, College Is a Waste Of Time”
    “Are Too Many People Going To College?”
    “Leave This Child Behind”
    “We Can’t All Make The Grade”
    “College Daze”
    “Education, Intelligence, And America’s Future”
    “What’s Wrong With Vocational School?”

    Murray argues that the one-size-fits-all approach to education is serving nobody, neither the very intelligent nor the less intelligent. He argues that the very intelligent need education similar to the classical education that the upper classes used to get, to fit them for the role of leadership of society. He says they end up as society’s leaders anyway, the trouble is they are not getting the right education for that, and society as a whole suffers the consequences of that.

    He also argues that those with lesser education should get educated for a role in which they will still be a success in life, such as trade vocations. Lesser expectations in Maths and Literature and so on are quite acceptable for such people. But under the status quo, these people are not being fairly set up for any future at all, being regimented into a learning structure that leaves them in a daze most of the time and provides them with no skills of the kind that are actually required in the best role they are eventually likely to fill.

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  49. Rich Prick (1,682 comments) says:

    That’s an aweful lot of pork for students’ votes who won’t actually be students when/if it takes effect (those funny bearded types doing 8 year BA’s excepted).

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  50. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    This is a good thread. Plenty of people are aware that the low income worker taxpayer is being screwed over by the very politicains who are supposed to represent them. You know, in the mean capitalist USA, the bottom FORTY PERCENT of earners end up paying NO income tax at all after they’ve taken off all the deductions they’re allowed, like mortgage interest. All our shamelessly power-grabbing socialists are interested in is screwing tax out of anybody who is working, no matter how hard up they are, and using the money to bribe voters, many of whom are better off than many of the people who are having taxes gouged out of them in the first place.

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  51. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    slightly righty..

    ..there are already markers of achievments..or issues..

    ..they are called report cards/meeting with teachers..

    ..and of course..all this stems from the home..

    ..the schools are just making up for the failures of the parents/families..

    ..children should enter primary school already steeped in books

    ..one of the first things i did with the boy..was get him addicted to books/reading.h.

    ..mainly by constantly reading to him..even/esp as a baby…

    ..the thought of his class/him having some arbitrary ‘test’..at age 8..(?)

    ..just dosen’t make sense..

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  52. Rakaia George (313 comments) says:

    F-ing LaLa Land socialists…once upon a time students could get a more-or-less free University education, a bachelors degree had a value and was a virtual guarantee of a job, a country could afford to subsidise tertiary degrees as an investment in the future of the nation. The capacity of a country to provide this subsidy was limited, but that was ok, because the number of people with the metal horsepower to make it into a University was also limited.

    Then along comes the almighty god of socialist equality, everyone “deserves” the “right” to go to university…fast forward thirty years and the end result is what? “Bums on seats” driving university policy rather than excellence, worthless degrees, a secondary education tier that no longer values excellence either, and you can’t get a plumber for love nor money.

    I’ve got a BSc in Physics and if I could have my time again, I’d be a sparky.

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  53. mara (772 comments) says:

    Jesus wept again. We already know why so many kids leave school unable and unskilled to live a decent life. Testing them more often is a total waste of time and money. There is no political will to confront the harder issues that underlie these statistics. Who wants to be fascist? The joke is that Labour already are and nobody seems brave or bright enough to “call time”. If Clark wins again we are rooted but we will deserve it.

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  54. reid (16,290 comments) says:

    Liarbore seek the leverage of the parents and grandparents who are behind the students as well as getting the students.

    It obvious but smart politics. Look at how the media have played it. Hey, complain the media are lefties if you like, but you’re not going to change them so how do you deal with them, as they are?

    I’m just waiting for a similarly astute move from National. Hopefully it’ll happen soon.

    Just listening to Cullen and English on Morning Report, it’s not bad: radionz.co.nz

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  55. Blocker (6 comments) says:

    There are numeracy and literacy standards in place already, thats how we know the stats. When National come up with a policy to change the stats I’ll be impressed, until then this is just going to make teachers jobs harder.

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  56. big bruv (13,734 comments) says:

    reid

    “I’m just waiting for a similarly astute move from National. Hopefully it’ll happen soon

    Sorry to burst your bubble mate but the media will just not allow Key to do something similar, you said so yourself in your most recent post.
    Clark knows she will be given a free pass from the media when it comes to election policy just as Key knows that the pinko media scum are acting on orders from Klark to question every single policy as to the countries ability to pay.

    As soon as he announces policy Fat Fran and her pals ask him “can we afford it” before they have even found out what the fucking policy is.

    I will give Key credit in as much as he knows how the game is being played by the left wing media, where I feel let down by him and the Nat’s strategy team is their gutless reluctance to go on the attack, he should be ripping into Labour and pointing out (Winston style) the fact that the media are giving Clark a free ride.

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  57. big bruv (13,734 comments) says:

    Blocker

    “until then this is just going to make teachers jobs harder”

    Sorry!…teaching our kids to read, write and count to ten is hard work?

    How about teachers stop indoctrinating (poisoning) the minds of young people with all that left wing shit and go back to bloody basics.

    A sixteen year old boy DOES NOT have to concern himself about how a feminist might view a set of pictures put in front of him, I want that sixteen year old boy to be able to read, to do math and to be able to communicate in a style that I can bloody well understand.

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  58. Right of way is Way of Right (1,121 comments) says:

    Philu, well done for getting your kid in to books, but regrettably not all parents think as you or I do. If we cannot pick these kids up at school, where else then, prisons?

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  59. Spam (588 comments) says:

    As for you Nats, I would have thought that the events of the last month would make you realise that building an economy on debt (which is what the student loans scheme does) is not a very clever idea. Over $10 billion student loan debt on the Government books today! But seems the message hasn’t got through.
    Gee… you mean the debt that ballooned when loans were made interest-free?

    And the really scary issue is that this is yet ANOTHER unaffordable (in the long term) policy that is very hard (politically) to remove.

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  60. clintheine (1,570 comments) says:

    I’m worried that Key said it was an interesting idea – and mentioned that the Nats will offer something more generous…

    Universal Allowances are not interesting, where are the fighting words Key?

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  61. Southern Raider (1,811 comments) says:

    Blocker you’ve brought into the left wing crap from the PPTA and the other communist pressure groups.

    There is going to be no end of year exams for 7 year olds or any shit like that. Most of the testing will be computer based and the kids won’t even realise it is a test and also there won’t be much extra work for teachers.

    It is not a grading system. It is intended to help identify those that are falling behind and get them extra assistance before they get to high school and its too late.

    I haven’t caught up on the policy detail as the MSM have been up Clarks arse, but there was talk of a voucher system so that kids that were struggling could get after school tuition to catch up.

    Allan Peachey knows what he is doing and has seen similar schemes reap huge rewards in places like the Bronx.

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  62. Southern Raider (1,811 comments) says:

    Labour where is the actual new ideas, change steps?

    What happened to the knowledge economy?

    It is easy just to pick out feeble pressure groups and feed them money, but what ahout some real leadership.

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  63. Southern Raider (1,811 comments) says:

    Following Keys bonding for nurses and doctors I’m wondering whether they will provide student allowances, but only for certain type of skills we are short in like engineers and then bond them to stay in NZ after graduation.

    Any other thoughts?

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  64. mickysavage (786 comments) says:

    Wow there are lots of grumpy comments in this post.

    What is the matter?

    Opinion polls heading the wrong way? Are you concerned about the inadequacy of the national party launch? Worried that JK may have been involved in both the H fee and also the rape and pillage of the Kiwi dollar and may not have quite been honest about this?

    The policy is brilliant. It will improve educational outcomes and the local economy. It will do much better than tax cuts for the rich which will cause nothing more than increased overseas travel and purchase of flat screen TVs, both of which will not only cause an increase in the overseas deficit but also environmental degradation? Students tend to spend their money on local beer food and culture, and this type of expenditure is very beneficial for the local economy.

    National’s plans are essentially for more testing. There are already more than enough tests, people should foind out what the PAT tests involve. If the money was put into more teachers then it may actually have a benefit but this would mean more public servants …

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  65. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    My wife is a junior school teacher. She does what is called a ‘six year net’ when students reach 6 years or age. The idea is to use a range of 1-to-1 sessions and well crafted tests to identify kids who need extra help because they can’t read/write as should be expected at their age. Problem is there’s never enough resource available to apply additional remedial work for many of the kids who are found to be struggling. So the very poorest (or believe it or not, the Maori/pacifica) students get help, while the others miss out completely. The message is clear: Be the very worst and you’ll get help. Struggle and that’s your lot.

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  66. Dyan22 (6 comments) says:

    30 years ago, I was a remedial reading teacher at an Intermediate School [11-12yr olds]
    I gave the pupils sent to me a short reading test that gave a reading age relative to chronological age.
    Most were reading at a 6-8yr age. With a structured program and individual attention twice a week within 4 – 6 months most were reading near their chronological age.
    What was frustrating to me, was that I should have been doing that with 8 year olds. 3 years wasted with children not functioning at their potential.

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  67. big bruv (13,734 comments) says:

    Micky

    I suppose the fact that this is a naked election bribe has passed you by, I suppose the fact that we cannot afford it is irrelevant to an idiot such as yourself.

    How can you support this corrupt govt Micky, is it really all about Power?

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  68. Southern Raider (1,811 comments) says:

    Fuck off Mickey Savage.

    You were the fuckin useless PM and your modern day reincarnation is also a wanker.

    Get some facts about what National is proposing and stop buying into the PPTA and Labour bullshit or do you prefer for 20% of kids to leave school without the basics?

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  69. Southern Raider (1,811 comments) says:

    As per my post with a voucher based system private (yes we can use that word) teaching institutes would be used to do the remedial teaching so that this didn’t create any undue workload on existing teachers.

    And yes as per usual Labours policy is to keep the kids poor and dumb so they’ll grow up to vote Labour.

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  70. tknorriss (327 comments) says:

    Well, the share prices for all our breweries would have doubled after this policy announcement.

    Seriously, though, our tertiary students get way too much thrown at them for what they are worth. We need to be investing at a much younger level if we want some tangible results.

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  71. Southern Raider (1,811 comments) says:

    MS please explain why we should be paying our taxes for students to drink beer and enjoy local culture?

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  72. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “If the money was put into more teachers then it may actually have a benefit but this would mean more public servants”

    Poor brain dead fuckwit- possessed of such narrow political perspectives, he can only think of education as a state service. Hey dipshit- fuck off with your indoctrination camps- they’re not needed. You can’t pay teachers just like you can’t pay doctors. You can’t build schools just like you can’t build hospitals. You can’t provide any kind of service apart from one that is the most basic or that caters to the lowest common denominator.

    What is more, the more poverty foolish ideologues like you impose upon this country, the further away real education and real health care get for Nzers. There is not one sentence in your rabid post above that would withstand even a basic test of logic. Obviously, devoid of even the most basic skills in critical thinking, and blind to any counterpoints to your ideas, you’re a recent graduate of Labour’s indoctrination process that was once an education system. Fully indoctrinated but not even half educated.

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  73. reid (16,290 comments) says:

    Getting a good education in this country involves nothing more than your parents have the appropriate attitude.

    It doesn’t depend on money, although obviously that helps, but it doesn’t have to.

    So attack that and you get results. Anything else is operating on the margin.

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  74. Shunda barunda (2,982 comments) says:

    getstaffed, you are absolutely on the mark there.
    My son had an early pre school literacy program (one on one in the home) and did exceptionally well, the tutor thought he was quite bright and would do very well at school. He is now in his second year of school and is struggling, and has been identified by the program you have mentioned. The preschool tutor did a follow up and was so shocked at my sons learning that she is going to contact the school and try to figure out what is going wrong. This is a very common occurance, kids are not reaching their potential due to the way the govt is trying to run our schools.
    Incidently the highly successful pre school program is struggling for funding and in doubt of continuing cause it didn’t fit govt criteria or some crap. It was run by some very inovative ex primary school teachers.
    John Keys idea is not only good it is probably essential.

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  75. somewhatthoughtful (464 comments) says:

    As i said in another post, even in dunedin (one of the cheaper places to go to uni) this would barely cover rent and bills for the week, i’d still have to work, the only difference is at the end i would’ve been less mindful of the debt hanging over my head so i would’ve started a business straight away, rather than considering working. Surely this is what we want? People still have to pay fees, they can now escape them and take more risk in their real lives because they won’t always have to worry about paying off their debt. Plus think of how many more people would stay because they could afford to pay their debts faster and wouldn’t need to run off to the (admittedly foundering) uk to earn in pounds just so they can pay off their loans. Remember this isn’t just uni as well, if you want to go to tech you’ll get the allowance too………..but then again, you guys have obviously found your daily bigotry target in “bludging students” which is, of course, totally supported by credible anecdotal evidence…..so who am i to take that away from you? don’t really seem to have much else..

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  76. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “and stop buying into the PPTA and Labour bullshit or do you prefer for 20% of kids to leave school without the basics?”

    He does prefer that actually. The more stupid and ignorant people there are amongst the population of any country, the greater chance there is for socialists to cling to power. Every commie from Barack Obama to Helen Klark knows that, and Mickey does too.

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  77. Southern Raider (1,811 comments) says:

    I was a student in Dunedin in the early nineties. No allowance and no student loan. I had no holidays from the time I was 16 to 21 as I spent them working and saving. I left with a $500 overdraft.

    In those days we drunk home brew, had crap clothes and lived like real scarfies.

    Go to Dunedin these days and they look they dressed to go to the viaduct and spent all the time drinking at bars.

    To all you students get a can of harden the fuck up. We all did and survived all the better for it.

    Gen Y are just a bunch of whingers sucking on the tit of Labour.

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  78. Southern Raider (1,811 comments) says:

    RB I saw in the Listener that Labour is using the same PR firm as Obama for the election.

    I haven’t seen this all over the MSM about how bac Labour must be.

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  79. mickysavage (786 comments) says:

    Wow

    So much bile, you would have thought that the right wing had lost another election, oh that is right that happens next month.

    Labour (as well as the Greens and the Progressives) have always put major emphasis on education, not all areas, granted they have shied away from extra funding for private school, but they have consistently put extra resources into schools and the education system. Reduced class sizes anyone?

    The nats are campaigning with slogans and prejudice. They have also put in bulk funding through the side door to appeal to their idealogues.

    And I am puzzled by the criticism by Key that 20% fail all subjects. Is he advocating a system where everyone passes everything. Doesn’t that sound rather PC?

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  80. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “RB I saw in the Listener that Labour is using the same PR firm as Obama for the election.”

    Yeah really? Hey, I notice the courageous Mickey Savage ain’t rushing back to answer your excellent question on why we should pay tax so students can spend it on beer. I guess he’s busy leafing through his well worn copy of “Socialism for Dummies”..

    Edit- Oh.. he’s back, but strangely SR, he ignored your question. Aint that a surprise?

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  81. Innocent bystander (163 comments) says:

    This is an excellent policy which will correct an injustice that has been allowed to persist for a number of years…its just a shame its taken Helen 9 years and the realisation that she might be booted out of office to come around to the same view. It won’t actually result in any more beer being consumed (except perhaps in celebration if Labour wins) because every dollar you get in student allowance is a dollar you can’t borrow in living costs…the difference is that people won’t be mortgaging their futures to get an education. Borrowing for fees I agree with, borrowing to eat is morally repugnant. As for how they pay for it, I don’t expect them to cancel the tax cuts but the big pot of money that Winston got for foreign affairs has got to be in serious danger. I was expecting a National victory on Nov 8th but Key looks increasingly rattled and National’s campaign so far has been a complete train wreck in stark contrast to their campaign in 2005.

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  82. Southern Raider (1,811 comments) says:

    Yes Mickey just like the health system. Chuck heaps of money and policy monkeys at it and get no improvement in service.

    Do you actually know anyone that works in the education industry? because if you did they would tell you it is a huge mess.

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  83. Rich Prick (1,682 comments) says:

    As a wealthy person with three children about to hit university progressively from 2011, I’m pleased that Labour will make all of you taxpayers pay universally for the gas for their cars, their parties, and the interest on their loans. France was good this year. The darlings will love not being means-tested and banking the Swiss skiing holidays. Thanks South Auckland your taxes are working for us, we love how you all vote down there. Afterall, my darlings need their time out from difficult studies. Mop those floors, flip those burgers, pump that gas South Auckland – we need you!

    Well, actually we don’t, but what the hey. If you want Helen to make you pay for my darlings instead of my Amex I’m all for it.

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  84. reid (16,290 comments) says:

    “Borrowing to eat is morally repugnant”

    Then don’t do it. Duh. You sure you been to uni?

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  85. tknorriss (327 comments) says:

    Innocent Bystander,

    So who is going to pay for all this when those who pay the taxes have all buggered off to Australia?

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  86. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    big bruv said: Toad just likes the idea of higher taxes.

    No, bruv, totally wrong. I actually like the idea of lower personal and corporate income tax.

    But I also like the idea of some new taxes, like on water usage, energy usage (whether clean or dirty – a different thing from greenhouse emissions charging), pollution taxes, and taxes on property speculation.

    Level the playing field for investment so those who invest in enterprise and employment are not disadvantaged in comparison to those who invest in propoerty speculation. And move the tax base from enterprise and employment to waste and pollution. That’s my agenda, and funnily enough, (most of) it is also the Green agenda.

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  87. Interested Party (61 comments) says:

    I like Souther Raider think the Nats will target the allowance for those areas where there is a distint shortage -science, computer studies etc, bugger the arts and basket weaving – this policy would go along with the growth strategy. Although it would be risky politically. Perhaps also increasing the means tested threshold to appease the masses

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  88. Innocent bystander (163 comments) says:

    For those like Reid who are a little slow on the uptake…as taxpyers we pay people to sit on the dole and do nothing, we freely provide meals and acommodation to prisoners while they sit behind bars and do nothing, we pay to look after people on sickness and invalids benefits, we provide middle class welfare in the form of working for families to people who certainly don’t need it…but chose to go to uni or polytech and better yourself and suddenly you are not eligible for assistance and your choices are either to borrow, or to work and hope it doesn’t come at the expense of your studies…which in my experience it inevitably does. Quite apart from the effects of past students having been saddled with high levels of debt and all the consquences of that, is it too much to ask for a little common sense with how the state spends our money?

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  89. Innocent bystander (163 comments) says:

    tknorris: While there are all sorts of problems with having our brightest and best go overseas you are hugely overstating the effect of people going to Australia.

    A combination of interest free loans and (eventually) universal student allowances will mean that new graduates are not going to be overwhelmed with debt when they finish their course and that may influence the decision of some graduates. Its not going to stem the flow but every bit helps. National’s proposal to bond doctors and nurses is another good policy in this area.

    The thing is that New Zealanders have always travelled and worked overseas and Australia is a richer country with more opportunities because of its mineral wealth…policies in New Zealand aren’t going to change that. That isn’t to say that we shouldn’t do anything to try and encourage people to stay or to come back here (we can even have tax cuts if you think it will help), we just need to be realistic about the factors that are operating.

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  90. GK (97 comments) says:

    So, more money to educate Generation Y, who, considering their lack of skill in calligraphy, spelling, numeracy, and who communicate their ideas in TXT language, really are deserving.

    All paid for by others–initially. If they are stupid enough to throw away their vote for this mess of potage, they are stupid enough to not realise they will not be teenagers forever.

    Simply, they are shitting in their own hats. They are being cynically used by a churlish and desperate political group.

    Helen ‘I have a dream’ Clark is playing a tune. We have heard it before and will not dance to it.

    I believe the majority of voting NZ’ers have a dream–to see New Zealand rid of her and her churlish cabal. This is in spite of the view the bum kissing hacks that masquerade as current affairs presenters and journalists would portray.

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  91. Innocent bystander (163 comments) says:

    GK – As has been pointed out, the people who stand to benefit the most from this policy are future students who are currently too young to vote. Most current students will not actually benefit from this policy as they will have finished their degrees by the time it fully kicks in. Its not actually a very good bribe as bribes go.

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  92. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    universal student allowances will mean that new graduates are not going to be overwhelmed with debt when they finish their course

    Why so? If you insulate people from the consequences of sacrifices they need to make to follow a course of action then the problem of inefficient use of resource just shifts elsewhere. It doesn’t vanish. There is plenty of evidence that we humans value the things that cost us, moreso than things that don’t.

    By way of example, I have previously employed grads. Lots of them, in my own business. I regularly hired B+ students when A+ were begging for a job. Reason? If the B+ student had demonstrated the passion and dedication to get though while also working to pay their fees then they had the right stuff for my business. One chap was previously a manual labourer. He moved his family to the other end of the country for a three year Uni course, worked two formal jobs plus any cash/manual jobs he could while supporting his young family. Huge sacrifices, no lazy student lifestyle, no bender parties etc. He was one of the best grads I every hired; hard-working and committed because it had cost him personally to get where he was. We need more like him.

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  93. Shunda barunda (2,982 comments) says:

    getstaffed, I agree people only value what costs them, infact it is a fundamental fact of human nature. Very few ever value anything that is handed to them on a platter.
    It is no secret that many students piss away a great deal of money and if anything that culture is becoming even more entrenched, which is great if we want to market NZers as a bunch of larikins , but then Australia is doing that so well with their youth.
    Any student with self respect would see this offer as an incredibly patronising election bribe.

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  94. Innocent bystander (163 comments) says:

    Getstaffed – I support charging for tertiary study because otherwise people are less likely to value it. There are particular problems if courses are free or too cheap because people don’t care if they fail them…this is not good when the taxpayer still pays most of the cost and pays it regardless of whether you get an A or an E. I do not support students borrowing to pay for basic living expenses because no one in NZ should have to do this.

    I wouldn’t hire someone on the basis of grades alone anyway…the real world is a bit more complicated than that. Certainly being able to pass a course well while working would get a good mark in my book, however, even with universal allowances students would need to work over summer and could use that time to pick up the skills they would need later on in the workforce. I would still much rather get the long term unemployed off the couch and working in MacDonalds while we paid students to study.

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  95. Innocent bystander (163 comments) says:

    …Although I shudder to think what my big mac would look like

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  96. Kimble (4,434 comments) says:

    “As has been pointed out, the people who stand to benefit the most from this policy are future students who are currently too young to vote.”

    Students will vote for Labour because of this policy because they think that anything that would have made things better for THEM must be good policy.

    Also, as a rule, they are young, self centered, and have an arts degree.

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  97. Kimble (4,434 comments) says:

    “the difference is that people won’t be mortgaging their futures to get an education. ”

    But that is exactly what they will be doing. People will pay higher taxes (or forgo government spending in other areas) in the future to pay for their education today. All that changes is that the cost is borne by more people rather than the individual.

    They will be taking out a mortgage and getting other people to pay the interest and a huge chunk of the principle.

    The value of an individuals education at the tertiary level is substantially internalised. You would be drawing a long bow if you tried to argue that the 75% subsidy from the public for the individuals education represented a fair division of the total benefit of the individual getting an education.

    And I don’t think it is likely to keep vastly more people in this country. What it is likely to do is make the pain of the countries loss on the investment in their education that much more acute.

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  98. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,746 comments) says:

    It was inconceivable that after announcing a decade of deficits and $20 billion more debt, that the Government would be so reckless as to do such a thing. I guess we both under-estimated their willingness to fuck up the economy in order to retain power.

    Labour is the fuck up party for fuck up people!! :D

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  99. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,746 comments) says:

    GK says on October 13th, 2008 at 11:24 pm:

    I believe the majority of voting NZ’ers have a dream–to see New Zealand rid of her and her churlish cabal. This is in spite of the view the bum kissing hacks that masquerade as current affairs presenters and journalists would portray.

    Agreed GK. It is definitely TIME FOR A CHANGE. The media really are failing to pick up that sentiment of the electorate and are instead batting for their own socialist team.

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  100. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    wonder if the jug skuller can open throat? An admirable quality in a university lass, if I remember correctly ‘in the day’

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  101. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    and…are you surprised that Klark is bribing students? Come on, its a central plank of their ‘strategy’, bribe bludgers.

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  102. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,746 comments) says:

    In this game of high stakes poker does National see Labour’s student cash hand out bribe and does it chose to raise the bet?

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  103. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    what % of scarfies will vote national? what % of scarfies who would vote national will change their mind due to bribery?

    Why the nats would bother I cant imagine.

    Better to focus on labour heartland voters like panel beaters in Carr Road Mt Roskill, aye commies !

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  104. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,746 comments) says:

    It’s not the students that are the problem, it’s their dumb arse parents and grandparents who think “that lovely Helen is doing something nice for their child/grandchild”.

    The “something nice” is in fact a free lunch at university and paying for their one way ticket to Australia or other overseas destination that’s a significant improve there on.

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  105. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    cant do anything about it. next.

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  106. Gloria (12 comments) says:

    Election bribe at universities’ expense
    18 July 2008

    The universal student allowance being contemplated by the Government would amount to “an unjustified election bribe”, the Vice-Chancellor of The University of Auckland, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, said today.

    He was commenting on speculation that such an allowance might be introduced at a cost of $728 million over four years.

    “Given that there is only a certain amount of money to be spent on tertiary education, this would further impoverish universities at a time when Government support of students is already the most generous of any western country. At the same time Government continues to constrain university incomes by funding them at a level far below their rising costs and by capping tuition fee increases.”

    The low level of investment in New Zealand universities would inevitably harm the quality of the education they offer, said Professor McCutcheon.

    “Our universities will lose ground to those in Asia and in other countries where there has been massive investment in the tertiary sector, leading them to drop in world rankings. Already the academic salaries we can afford to pay staff are so inferior internationally – 40 percent below Australia – that we will continue to lose talented Kiwis as well as finding it hard to recruit staff from overseas.”

    Moreover, bright New Zealand students would be increasingly attracted to amply-funded Australian and Asian universities which were already wooing them with low fees and generous scholarships. “The University of Melbourne, for example, has double the amount per student to spend on teaching and research compared with The University of Auckland.

    “Pouring money into student allowances simply to catch votes will deny New Zealanders the world-class university system which the country needs as universities’ infrastructures are neglected.

    “The government has put some funding into universities to help with salary costs but the amounts involved – typically $20 million a year – are trivial compared with the $182 million that the universal student allowance would cost annually. And it does not address the investment needed to bring facilities up to international standards – something in the order of $5 billion across the university sector.”

    The cost of such politically-driven expediency was incalculable, said Professor McCutcheon, not simply to the students but to New Zealand’s economic and social development which university research underpins.

    “There is no logic in providing students with cheap access to a university system that is declining in quality. I call on all political parties to join a sustained and rational debate on the policies needed to develop a quality tertiary sector.”

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  107. DamnedAngry (231 comments) says:

    Sums up the REALITY nicely Gloria. Exactly what we’ve been trying to get across to those Labour groupie numbskulls!

    And they wonder why we get so DamnedAngry!!!

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  108. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,746 comments) says:

    How many more expensive bribes has Labour got up it’s sleeve? That’s taxpayer money its throwing around like the country isn’t in a deep recession.

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  109. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,746 comments) says:

    National should counter Labour’s bribe by removing duty on beer.

    That’ll win students over. Chug, chug chug.

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  110. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    If labour wins this election I’m heading back to NZ, putting my cash in an offshore trust and going on the dole. why fight the system. i have kids to raise, they may as well be exposed to the NZ way – bludging..

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  111. bringbackthebiff (99 comments) says:

    What a waste of time and money. The bloody smart ones will only do a runner as they do now. NZ currently subsidises the cost of tertiary education for other countries, because educated people leave as soon as they can. The debt problem needs to be addressed other ways. An end needs to be put to waste of time courses funded from the public purse and those with debts made to repay.
    I paid mine off after returning from my OE and left again. I know many who just left with no thought of repaying, and in many cases have returned home, and never been picked up.

    Cynical Crap from a desperate Fuhrer.

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  112. goodgod (1,348 comments) says:

    “National should counter Labour’s bribe by removing duty on beer.

    That’ll win students over. Chug, chug chug.”

    This is actually a brilliant idea! Not only an open bribe to students, but a way to control alcohol related violence and crime. The problem with alcohol is that it’s too expensive – if it were cheaper, instead of people being able to drink only enough to reach the violent stage, they’d drink enough to pass out. A whole problem area sedated overnight!

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  113. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Unless national pull finger out of arse Im voting maori.

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  114. siobhan (278 comments) says:

    Good one expat – A vote for Maori is a vote for Labour ;-)

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  115. Innocent bystander (163 comments) says:

    Kimble – If society dosn’t benefit substantially from people getting an education why should we care about the brain drain?

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  116. DamnedAngry (231 comments) says:

    Expat, you’d be better off to vote ACT if you feel that way…as siobhan says, a vote for the MP is a vote for Labour.

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  117. Kimble (4,434 comments) says:

    “If society dosn’t benefit substantially from people getting an education why should we care about the brain drain?”

    Because I am not saying society does not benefit at all, I am saying that the individual reaps more than their 25% of the costs would fairly indicate. I am also saying that worsening that ratio for the public does not make things better. All it does is redistribute more wealth towards people who are engaging in an activity that will already increase their wealth making potential in the future.

    Whats fair about that?

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  118. Brian Smaller (4,015 comments) says:

    Once upon a time we had seven universities conferring degrees. Now there are dozens of institutions conferring degrees. Degrees are getting more and more worthless. so much so that I can’t really see the difference between most of them and the one that shiela brought off the internet when she got her job in the PMs department.

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  119. slightlyrighty (2,472 comments) says:

    How about if a student drops out or fails to get a degree as a result of their studies, they pay back the money received as a student allowance in the same way that students pay back loans?

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  120. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    A crusade on literacy, eh? Check out this from Eddie at The Standard. It has to be the funniest moment of the campaign so far.

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  121. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Would you like a picture of students studying instead of the VRWC’s stock smear shots David?

    I’m fucking surounded by them so its not a problem.

    Or does that not fit with the agenda?

    If you had just stuck to “if Helen Clark cares so much why did she wait 9 years to do it” line there wouldn’t be a problem.

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  122. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    slightlyrightly – while the payments may or may not be recoverable, the ‘purchased’ vote definitely can not be repudiated.

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  123. RRM (9,841 comments) says:

    Allowances for a few thousand students who could really use them = a shocking election bribe.

    Modest personal tax cuts = vital to the future success of the country.

    riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight….

    (Oh and if you’re going to put up a “representative” photo of a student having a – well deserved – beer, at least have the good grace to illustrate the little darlings in a similar light, e.g. screaming and fighting each other or drawing all over the walls with crayons etc!
    OR show us the uni student as she would have been the PREVIOUS night, drowning under more paperwork than that entire class-full of little darlings will see in a whole year!)

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  124. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    I’m actually looking forward to Helen and Mikhael being PM and Finance Minister when the gummint runs right out of tax revenue AND sources of loan money, so they can’t even pay the wages of the civil servants or the military or the cops, or keep the power on. Nothing else is going to wake up the sheeple who keep voting socialist. Even that may not.

    But it will be an empty vindication. I doubt very much that there will be a happy ending like in “Atlas Shrugged”. Think “Cuba of the South Pacific”, rather than the “Czech Republic of the South Pacific”. “Switzerland of the South Pacific” was only ever a very very sick joke.

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  125. Richard Hurst (846 comments) says:

    1.Will the NZ state (NZ taxpayers) have to borrow additional money which we will all pay interest on from overseas to fund this policy?
    Yes.

    2. Do we have a problem getting people to go to University?
    No. Numbers have been generally on the rise for the past 20 years.

    3. Do students currently receive some form of financial assistance so those from less well off backgrounds have the opportunity?
    Yes. Interest Free loans from their fellow citizens. Inflation cost is paid by taxpayers not students. In effect a gift of free money to students and 57% of students already receive a student allowance.

    4. So is there actually a problem that this allowance policy fixes?
    No.

    5. So what is its purpose?
    Keeping Helen Clark in a nice, well paid job indoors with no heavy lifting.
    This bribe will be paid for by our children’s, children.

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  126. dave strings (608 comments) says:

    I’m starting to think I’d better vote fopr Labour if I want my Grandson to have a life in New ZEaland – and that really worries me!
    You see, if I vote Labour now, and they make the mess of things over the next three years that I’m sure they’ll make, it might be the end of them for a decade or so, and the kids will be OK. On the other hand, I’ll be reired and broke! But never mind – I can make another retirement nest egg, that’s just working hard!

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  127. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,746 comments) says:

    DamnedAngry says on October 14th, 2008 at 9:27 am:

    Expat, you’d be better off to vote ACT if you feel that way…

    So true, ACT wouldn’t stand for this nonsense of waste taxpayer money on an obvious election bribe.

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