The Taxpayers’ Union has had a look at zero-fee university policies in the context of Labour’s tertiary education bribe announcement. It has released a briefing paper concluding that the implementation of a zero fees policy for tertiary education would reach into the pockets of the disadvantaged, to line the wallets of the future’s wealthy and finds:
- Taxpayers already cover 84 percent of the cost of obtaining a tertiary degree.
- The average household currently pays $2,456 in tax per year to fund tertiary education.
- Fully implemented, Labour’s proposal would increase that cost by $852.57 per year.
- Low and middle-income earners will pay more to subsidise tomorrow’s rich.
- Likely effects of the policy, based on the experience in Scotland with its zero fees policy, include:
- more job shortages in crucial skills-based areas;
- lower quality tertiary education;
- less access to education for students from disadvantaged or low socioeconomic backgrounds; and
- less social mobility and entrenched income inequality.
You can also download the report as a PDF here (hard copies are available on request for NZTU members).