The policies parties want you to care about
It’s two weeks before the election, and you’re probably sick of it. More than in previous years, it feels like we’ve been bombarded with coverage of everything every day. As such, you may have missed the policies that have been directed at you from each of the parties. So from your News Team, a few announcements from the parties currently polling as getting into Parliament (apologies TOP).
They really love their tax cuts policy. A student working even 18 hours a week will see no change. Public Transport subsidies will be dropped, which doubles the price in Auckland. A third medical school will be opened, just for postgraduate entry in Waikato, which will open up about 50 new placements for Auckland. There’s a scheme to cover nursing student loans if you remain in the country for longer than five years. Increase work eligibility for international students to 24 hours a week. Allow those of us under 30 to use Kiwisaver to pay rental bonds, while also bringing back no-cause evictions.
No more GST on fruits and vegetables. Save probably no more than $4.5 if you buy $30 worth. Free dental care if you’re under 24 in 2025, while paying for 50% more dentists at Otago and 335 more doctors a year by 2027. It’s unclear, but it seems about 500 more placements over that time. Increases to minimum wage to bring in line with Living Wage. Look to extend fees free in later years.
$385 income guarantee for all students as a universal student loan. A $10,000 tax free bracket, saving $20 a week for anyone working 8 hours a week. Free dental care for all. Regulate personal cannabis usage. A return to default student membership, so that we can all be part of AUSA. Free public transport for students. Limit annual rent increases to 3%.
Will increase the lowest tax bracket to 17.5%, so if you work 8 hours, will pay about $800 more in tax, but it is supposed to be covered by a tax credit. End public transport subsidies, so double the price in Auckland. End fees free, replaced with a fund that seems to pay out the equivalent of fees free. Impose electronic management of the income of those on jobseeker for longer than 17 weeks.
New Zealand First
They’re very vague. Remove GST from “basic” foods, as well as adjusting tax brackets for inflation. Stop teaching “gender ideology.” Set a two year limit on length of time on a benefit. That’s about it that’s relevant if you don’t live north of Warkworth.
Te Pāti Māori
A $30,000 free tax bracket, and increasing minimum wage to $25, saving about $20 a week for a student working 8 hours, as well as GST off all food. Free dental and primary healthcare for “families” earning less than $60,000, and it is unclear if that applies to students too. Universal doubled student allowance, which suggests $600 a week for all, though no specifics have been given. Free public transport for students
It’s important to remember that this is just a few of the policies, picked because they have a direct impact on students. If you notice that some parties have few, or they seem mostly negative, that’s how their policies are presented to tertiary students this election.