Kerre McIvor

Kerre McIvor is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Kerre Woodham: Wake up and repay your loans

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Yes, it's hard work to study and to work part time, but, hello! Welcome to the real world. Photo / Thinkstock
Yes, it's hard work to study and to work part time, but, hello! Welcome to the real world. Photo / Thinkstock

Well, they can't say they weren't warned.

People consistently refusing to pay back their student loans are being targeted by the Government as the IRD increasingly uses legal action and debt collectors to claw back money from the arrogant oiks who have been sticking two fingers to the New Zealand taxpayer.

The phones ran red-hot on talkback this week with the overwhelming majority of people, including those who were diligently paying back their loans, believing it was time that the Government stopped dangling carrots in front of these individuals and started using a stick.

One caller had a torrent of scorn heaped upon him when he said that he knew a few defaulters living overseas and while they didn't mind paying course costs, they resented having to pay back loans they'd taken out as living costs. They believed the taxpayer should fund them to attend uni and they weren't paying back loans until people attend uni for free.

It was pointed out that if you wanted a free education, then access to courses would be restricted; that most of the people who'd attended uni when course costs were free had no access to any sort of living allowance - unless it came from their parents. They had to work; and that many students today work and study so they don't have to apply for living costs, minimising their loans.

Yes, it's hard work to study and to work part time, but, hello! Welcome to the real world. It's a tiny minority of people who have reneged on their loans, but let's get that $418 million back off them.

That way other people will be able to have the opportunity to get the sort of education that these loan defaulters have enjoyed.

- Herald on Sunday

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