See what National’s doing with the fees-free policy?
This is exactly what I was warning you about a couple of days ago. National chickened out and it has now decided it’s going to keep Labour’s expensive policy of paying for university for students who were probably going to go anyway.
This is a massive about-face from National, because they’ve spent six years bashing it and promising to cut it.
For good reason- it’s an enormous and unnecessary waste of money when we are about to borrow tens more billions of dollars and can’t afford to waste money.
It’s hard to find an exact price, but this could be costing us somewhere around $320 million a year to pay for the university study of kids who were probably going to go anyway.
It doesn’t even do what it was supposed to do, which is lift the number of poor kids going to uni. Since it was introduced, fewer poor kids are going and more rich kids are going.
And the only thing that’s gone up is the dropout rate, which is now the highest it’s been since 2014.
This is such a massive disappointment to me, because it shows the wasteful spending is not going to end after the October election.
I know this is hard for some National supporters to hear, but the fact is- National is not going to dramatically change the wastage or even the wokiness in Government that we’ve seen under Labour.
We’ve had them supporting Labour’s dumb gender pay reporting policy just a few days ago, and now we’ve got them retaining an incredibly wasteful idea that they had told us they would ditch.
Obviously nothing can be as bad as it is right now, so a centre-right Government will definitely be an improvement, it would have to be.
But if you’re hanging out for a major reset of the country’s fortunes after October, I think you might need to set your expectations just a little lower.
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