Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Labour to cut student loan interest

Labour have just announced

The Government will scrap interest payments on student loans held by people living in New Zealand, Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today.
She said the proposed change, which would begin on April 1 next year, would massively reduce loan repayment times.
The policy would cost $100 million in its first year, eventually rising to $300 million a year.
Miss Clark said the policy would form the second of Labour's seven pledge card election promises.
Labour's first pledge card promise is to widen the rates rebate scheme

I am a student who has just taken out a SL for course fees and I don't agree with this at all. The current system is perfectly fair with regards to course fees. I don't have to pay any interest while studying and after I stop studying I get charged interest at a low rate, plus the government already funds universities about 60%. Yes their is still an expense to studying but with regards to course fees the government is already investing thousands of dollars into each degree earned.

This new measure only benefits students after they stop studying (as they pay no interest while studying anyway). Surely the time to help them is while studying by paying a universal student allowance. I have said before and I will say it again I don't believe any government should LOAN money for living expenses.

Remove the ability to borrow for living expenses, pay a universal student allowance and keep interest on course fees once the borrower has finished studying

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Work for the dole?

Should people have to work for the dole?

Yes, yes and yes!!!

I think it is vital that we establish something that once people have been on the unemployment benefit for longer then three months they should be required to perform some type of work or lose their benefit.
I think this should be the case for anyone on the unemployment benefit and anyone on the DPB whose youngest child is at school. Surely we are just encouraging a false reality by giving people something for nothing, I honestly think the people that a work for the benefit scheme would benefit would be the beneficiaries themselves.

I am tired and aren't capable of giving this the logic it deserves but post your comments anyway.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Should we tour?

I am interested in peoples opinions about whether the NZ cricket team should tour Zimbabwe? Their is a lot of pressure being put on the government to ban the cricket team from touring due to the human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and the fact that Mugabe is a patron of Zimbabwe cricket.
Currently the governments stance is that they can not stop the cricket team from touring as it was be an abuse of the NZ players human rights. They are saying it is up to NZ cricket to pull the plug. Problem is unless the government ban the NZ players from going then NZ cricket becomes liable for reimbursing the Zim team for the cost of the tour, by the time TV rights are taken into account this would be millions.

So what should happen?

My feeling is that the government should stop them from going, we can't be seen to support that regime in anyway. Although I think it is sad that the international community has done very little to stop what is going on in Zimbabwe and believe something should have been done a long time ago. It should not be left up to our sportsman to fight the political battle

Secondly the international Cricket Council should have suspended Zim from all cricket, due to the horrible conditions of this country.

I truly wonder if all the promises from the G8 will do much if we are going to fail to act in key situations like the one in Zimbabwe.

So what are your thoughts, should sports teams be used to make a political stand?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Singapore Airlines.

Sarah and I are now back safe and sound.
One of the pleasing aspects of our trip was flying Singapore Airlines. They are by far the best carrier I have ever flown on and regardless of price (within reason) I would always choose to fly with them again.
They have all the latest modcons on the plane, including about 30 movies that you can choose from, nintendo games system and a great music selection.
The real kicker though was their service, it was just fantastic. The staff are so friendly and run off their feet to keep you watered, fed and comfortable.
NZ could learn a lot about customer service from SA (in fact Singapore in general excelled in CS)

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Safe and sound

We were in London when the bomb blast happened, it was our departure day. Thankfully we were not in central London at the time of the explosions, it was very surreal watching the coverage from my brothers house, knowing that these were stations we had been in the day before.
It was a dispicable act of terrorism and the scary thing is their is really no way of protecting the tubes. How do you protect something on which 3 million people travel on per day?

On a personal note thnkfully Heathrow airport was still open and I am writing this from Singapore.