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July 18, 2011 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Brashed Off About Student Debt

ACT Party leader Don Brash took advantage of Re-Orientation to make a bid for the student vote last week.

Dr Brash spoke at VUWSA’s Mid-Winter Feast about how ACT would tackle the issues facing students if it reaches the five percent vote threshold to remain in Parliament after the November election.

Although the Greens have prioritised targeting record levels of student debt as an election issue, Dr Brash said his personal view was that taxpayers supported students too much.

“I opposed the abolition of interest on student loans because that raised the level of subsidy very high indeed, so I’m not advocating additional subsidy,” Dr Brash told Salient.

“I’m not surprised [student debt is] so high, because if you offer tertiary students interest-free money, they will take it. And if they aren’t bright enough to take it, then they shouldn’t be in a tertiary institution.”

A number of politicians, including ACT MP Heather Roy, made an appearance on campus last week, highlighting the importance of the student vote to politicians.

Dr Brash acknowledged that public perception was that ACT was “very much a man’s party”, and said that ACT on Campus leader Peter McCaffrey’s role on the party board would help to increase support amongst youth and women.

When pressed as to if and when McCaffrey was destined for leadership of the party, Dr Brash said that there was “no age discrimination in the ACT Party”.
“I’m not planning to roll Don any time soon,” quipped McCaffrey.

Dr Brash himself took over leadership of the party from Rodney Hide in a rapid coup earlier this year.


About the Author ()

Elle started out at Salient reviewing music. In 2010, she wrote features and Animal of The Week, which an informal poll revealed to be 40% of Victoria students' favourite part of the magazine. Alongside Uther Dean, she was co-editor for 2011. In 2012, she is chief features writer.

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