Stealth Claims Fly During Student Loan Debate

by Desk Editor on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 — 9:18 PM

Labour MPs claimed in Parliament tonight that the Government was sneaking in major changes to the student loan scheme.

The Student Loan Scheme Amendment Bill completed its committee stage tonight and was reported with amendment with National, ACT, United Future, New Zealand First, the Maori Party and Mana supporting.

Opposition to the bill mainly centred around the reduction in payment holidays from three years to one year, though towards the end of the debate a number of Labour MPs claimed that a previously unnoticed clause was effectively and retrospectively scrapping interest free loans.

Government ministers ignored the claims about the clause, which if correct meant the policy change was unannounced and escaped notice during the parliamentary process.
MPs returned to the interrupted debate on the second reading of the Trade (Safeguard Measures) Bill and it passed on a voice vote.

The first reading of the Building Amendment Bill (No 4) was interrupted when the House rose at 10pm.

The House will sit on Thursday morning under extended hour provisions to deal with a number of treaty related bills.

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