Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Old poor people - do not educate yourself before you die.

Well not exactly but then again Deborah Coddington would not really offer any solutions to the *problem* of older people accessing the student loan scheme to educate themselves once they finish working.

She notes in this story that the number of people aged 60 and over who have student loans increased from 2413 in June 2002 to 4713 in September last year.

I really would worry that there was some kind of octogenarian rout going on if I turned up to class in March and half of them where from the local grey power branch. I'd also worry that when I protested at the pace of the class was to slow due to the constant "Can you repeat that please I cant hear you" interruptions - that I may well be rolled from my AVP position by a seemingly super well organised group of grandmas.

Quite frankly I am not worried about this. I know an elderly person who attends some of my classes at university and the thought that he might disappear off this earth without paying back his student loan does not worry me too much. I am glad that people like him are getting out and doing something of interest to them rather than simply being excluded from society. I mean what does Coddington really want? Old people to pay up front for any education they receive post-working age? Automatic deductions from their estate? Or simply denying them the chance to further their minds simply because it is not going to result in them being able to utilise that knowledge in some kind of employment.

What a meanie.

In addition to that crap she more usefully notes that the average student loan has increased 22 per cent since 1999. The average student debt was $11,855 in December 1999 and in November 2004 stood at $14,547. Yes well the cost of living has gone up and so have fees (Using the Uni's 1.6 x inflation as the actual increase in the cost of providing education) and one would envisage that increase being in line with expectations.

She said some graduates were going to find it difficult to pay off their loans and many would leave the country to escape their debt. I say that is spectacular analysis.

I read through the article to see if Deborah offered any solutions to the problem of student debt over and above the governments current policies of no interest while studying, restricting the fees increases and expanding access to student allowances but was disappointed.
I then did a quick search through her recent press releases to see what ACT would do... not much expect drop taxes.

Maybe I should give her a chance to equate 'one law for all' with universal access to student allowances...


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