Bill English taunts student protesters
Fri, 25 May 2012 12:36p.m.
By 3 News online staff
Finance Minister Bill English has brushed off student protesters, saying they "need some Greeks to show them how to do it".
Around 400 students blocked an intersection near the University of Auckland yesterday afternoon to protest changes to student loans and allowances announced in the Budget.
People with student loans from now on will have to pay back more each year, and allowance eligibility has been tightened – including cutting allowances altogether for people doing post-graduate study.
Speaking to a business audience in Wellington this morning, Mr English said of the students: "Yes, there's a protest movement out there but who's really listening to them?"
The comments were in response to a question from the audience.
"They get on TV and they can make a bit of a racket," said Mr English, "dragging a few rubbish bins around, they need some Greeks to show them how to do it.
"It gets reported, mainly because it blocked the traffic… [but] who's listening? Most people actually think the students got a pretty fair go and they should count themselves lucky that they've still got interest free loans and get on with it because, you know, get your training finished and get a job and start contributing."
Mr English said people should "get used to" a sense of crisis over future Budgets.
"A regular sense of crisis is normal. It's going to be normal."
NZUSA president Pete Hodkinson told the Dominion Post the Budget was "not fair and reasonable".
"What this government doesn't want to accept is that the loan repayment threshold kicks in below the poverty line for our graduates who shouldn't be forced into paying for the 'private benefit of education', before that benefit is realised," he told the paper.
There were further protests over the Budget in Auckland today, as a crowd of 70 converged outside the Langham Hotel where John Key was giving a speech.
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26/05/2012 9:41:35 a.m.
Its people like Chris who have stolen money from the economy all their lives and gotten away with it that has caused this issue.
The overpriveldged little snots who think they are special because money is their god... are normally the biggest thieves and the single most damaging thing to the economy,
Mid level managers stole 280 million dollars out of the economy in the last 6 months through acts of dishonesty and fraud.
These statistics can be requested from the serious fraud office who released them in April 2012
From thos figures alone we can see that people like Chris and Mike are nicking off with close to 2 and a half billion dollars over the next 4 years.
More than enough money to be a great boost to the economy and economic growth.
But these thieves continue to steal, continue to damage the country.
Its the overpriveldged with their gimme gimme gimme or I'll steal it attitude that is damaging the country.
26/05/2012 1:04:09 a.m.
If nothing else, I think it's clear more money needs to be put into education from the abysmal spelling, punctuation and grammar in the previous comments.
25/05/2012 5:52:40 p.m.
Goog grief what a bunch of loosers we we have on this forum. Lifes tough, in fact it's bloody tough, so get used to it and stop moaning. The lazy and the left love their hand outs. Sorry no more money left for handouts so move on and get a life.
25/05/2012 4:55:56 p.m.
i wonder how bill english's puny idiot brain would cope with serious, radicalised resistance
25/05/2012 4:35:29 p.m.
I forgot to mention in my previous comment that, Mr. English. If you were going compare one country say New Zealand to greece, why don't compare greece with Dubai? Dubai has no tax, yet they maintain a well GDP level. So what your saying, excuse the language is BULLSHIT! You are talking out of your ass, you in your spot are different to what students are facing and experiencing. Your 40 - 50. You have achieve what you wanted, you got a nice job, a nice salary etc. We students do not have what you have, and it is selfish to think that we still live in your era of 1964 or something. If I am correct, back then. Education was cheap as fish and chips. Mr. English not only you need a crash course in education but also a crash course on the new year 2012. Techonolgy, networks, people are all evolving fast, and you are slowing New Zealand down even more than it is. Soon even developing countries like singapore is going to outperform New Zealand. Also, Mr. English if you havn't realised what I was talking before, maybe because you are just that ignornant and arragont prick, Then I'll say in simple english here goes: You are killing NZ economy by de-motivating students therefore driving them to other countries and advancing there. Get it?
25/05/2012 4:32:54 p.m.
The only way to secure a good future for students now is move to Australia. New Zealand is going to be a hard place to survive.
25/05/2012 4:30:45 p.m.
why did you people vote national in the first place!!!you should know that their economist and will do anything to make a profit or surplus even if it's at the expense of the poor!!
25/05/2012 4:13:43 p.m.
It's costing the country a lot of money for students to get a higher education. It's costing the country a shit load more to have them all bugger off and grow other economies - who can blame them either!
25/05/2012 4:08:23 p.m.
Mr. English if you are reading this, then pay attention, because you need a crash course on how to do your job properly. Ok ready? 1) You say we need to note greek. You are absoutely wrong on this. Why? because greek is part of the ECB, there whole monetary system is controlled by one central bank, no flexability, NZ however is not controlled by any other central banks therefore, fiscal policies can still be implemented to decrease debt and achieve account surplus. An example of this would be to increase expenditure tax like GST, this way it is fair for both rich and poor, the rich can contribute more because the expenditure are more than poor - middle class. Greeks population is different than New Zealand, human capital is different, market is different, technological advances are different. You expect to NZ to be the same level as greece? then you must be a joke. 2) What you are doing to with the new budget is going to have long term impact on NZ economy. By forcing students not able to afford education, you are pushing human capital done and further technological advance. As stated by solows growth model in order to get better long term output, an economy needs workers, workers that are educated, this will have a positive impact on the GDP of an economy. Since NZ is an OECD country we are technological catch ups not like China or America who are technological frontiers. What you are doing is to drive more people and potential capable workers to Australia. This is a very smart move.... lol... you are helping the Australian economy more than it already is.. Im not sure where you got your education but lets face it. New Zealand is desperate for new innovation and better infaustucture. For you to decrease human capital, you are essentially digging a large burial hole for New Zealand for the future to come.
25/05/2012 4:06:30 p.m.
Students will be forced to give up studies and start work full time. If that is what the NZ government wanted the next generation to do. They have to give up study because they can no longer support themselves to continue on study. Each student's future contribution potential to NZ will therefore be greatly reduced.
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