The Government must explain to New Zealand taxpayers why it is considering scrapping measures that ensure overseas student loan defaulters don’t get away scot free, National Party Tertiary Education Spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“Taxpayers help to fund tertiary study and thousands of Kiwis have been and are working hard to pay back their student loans. Just because someone leaves the country, it doesn’t mean they should be able to leave their debt behind.

“Unfortunately it appears the Government will be removing the tough measures introduced in 2010 by the National-led Government to hold student loan defaulters to account.

“This comes after the Government announced it will ditch benefit sanctions for women who don’t name the fathers of their children, allowing the men to get out of their child support obligations.

“If the Government doesn’t send a clear signal that it’s serious about student loan debt being repaid, it will reverse the hard fought gains we’ve recently made – the measures introduced by the previous Government prompted an additional $419 million in repayments between 2010 and June 2017.

“The Government should be on the side of hardworking people who do the right thing. Not on the side of student loan defaulters.”

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