28 March 2013
Dunne: Student loan bill passes third reading
A Bill allowing Inland Revenue data-matching with Customs to identify and locate serious student loan defaulters as they return to New Zealand passed its third and final reading in Parliament this afternoon.
The Student Loan Scheme Amendment Bill No. 2 also broadens the definition of income, bringing it into line with the definition used for Working For Families tax credits and other social policy programmes, from 1 April 2014, Revenue Minister Peter Dunne said.
“This will ensure greater fairness by including income that is currently outside the current definition – such as income from trusts,” Mr Dunne said.
“We have one of the most generous student support systems in the world, but it needs to be fair for taxpayers, and this bill helps achieve that.
“Those with student loans need to take personal responsibility for repaying them, and in the case of returning defaulters, Inland Revenue will now have the information necessary to follow them up to help resolve their debt.
“All of New Zealand has a stake in good tertiary education, but loan borrowers need to keep their end of the deal – and that includes borrowers living overseas.
“The Government is committed to the student loan scheme and the changes introduced by this bill will ensure that we protect this valuable asset for future generations of students. A good outcome for all,” he said.
The data-matching provision will take effect from 1 April this year, or as soon as the Bill receives Royal Assent.
Ends Mark Stewart | Press Secretary | Office of Hon Peter Dunne
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