Yesterday National delivered a budget that offered zero opportunities for young New Zealanders. Removing the tax credit on part-time work for young people, restricting student allowances and increasing student loan repayments are all examples of how young people are paying for National’s deficit of ideas. Nothing was presented yesterday to offer young people hope for their futures. Rather, what was presented will have even more of our young people scampering for the nearest departure lounge.
Over the last 24 hours my inbox has been running hot with messgaes from young people feeling like they have been abandoned by this Government.
This afternoon I received this email from a constituent of mine. She has also sent it to the Prime Minister. I guess she really means it!
I really don’t have to say anymore – it speaks for itself!
I’m breaking up with you. I can’t handle this anymore. You weren’t my first pick anyway, to be honest. Russel charmed me, Pita and Tariana said nice things, and even Phil was better company. But we ended up together you and I, facing the gloom and doom of an ageing population, a broadening gap between here and the West Island, the ever-looming GFC, and now, the recovery effort here in Christchurch. You were all right to start with; we got on well enough. Your friends aren’t that great. Anne annoyed me when she closed the school down the road from me, Bill is boring, Gerry keeps on eating all the pies, and Banksy’s a liar, plus your perpetual smirk started to wind me up, but mostly, we managed.
But this budget John, it’s the breaking point. That’s it. It’s over.
You know how I finish my LLB/BA this year, having worked part time jobs since I was 15, and essentially 7 day weeks for the past 4 and a bit years? You know how I haven’t been eligible for student allowance until very recently when Dad had to stop working? You know how my student loan is currently sitting around 60 K? Yeah, this budget isn’t helping. Cancelling student allowance for postgraduate study? What were you thinking, John?!?
I don’t know if you know, but I was looking at doing an LLM next year, in some facet of resource management that would actually be useful and productive for the nation. My husband is currently finishing off his very useful and productive PhD in mechanical engineering, with a little bit to go next year. Our combined student debt is around the 100 K mark. Another year for us without allowance is another 10 K to that debt. I realise that you used to shuffle huge sums around for Merril Lynch, so 10 K seems like nothing, but can I tell you what this combined debt means for us?
It means a struggle for a first home. Heck, it might mean no home at all, in current conditions. It means having fewer children, if producing at all. They tell us the right people aren’t having enough offspring. Children are a priority for us, but not if we can’t afford them. Most of all however, this debt means going overseas. Australia beckons, but we were thinking further afield, like Canada. We’re likely to stay there. There’s very little here for us anymore.
So it comes to this, John. It’s over. You said so much about bridging the gap between here and Australia. Expecting students to take such a hit while expecting them to pay for the ever-increasing superannuation explosion and the resulting problems that that little nutshell is going to have is f*cking stupid, John. Do you expect us to let you back in next election? Forget your sins, expect us to let you ‘change’? Ha, you could only hope. I’ve got a new politician in my life. His name is David. He offers far more than you. Get lost John.
No longer yours,
A soon to be graduating lawyer and her engineer husband who are leaving NZ – and not looking back.