I think interest will return to student loans sooner than anyone with a student loan wants to acknowledge.
Let’s recall the two opposing forces in New Zealand politics:
- baby boomers who have frittered away their life earnings and expect state handouts until death
- younger generations who have been exposed to a user pays society from birth and expect nothing but a bill
Acknowledging these two opposing forces, let’s think about how democracy works for these two teams:
- baby boomers turn out to vote in high numbers because they have to
- younger generations turn out to vote in low numbers because they don’t care about a system that doesn’t care about them
What this means is that, over time, the baby boomers will keep voting themselves privileges at the expense of younger generations.
John Key has cynically acknowledge this. Even though he claims interest on student loans being reinstated would be political suicide, he has taken the drastic step of saying he would resign as Prime Minister rather than tinker with National Superannuation.
NZ Super is the “third rail” of New Zealand politics. It can never be touched because the people who vote would go mad.
Interest on student loans, however, is a second-order issue. It affects the grandkids who can’t be bothered to call their grandparents anyway.
Far less likely to get massive political opposition aside from platitudes spouted by the spineless opposition benches.
Interest will return to student loans. And it sure won’t be pretty.
My generation is the cattle that baby boomers will keep milking until they are all dead. Then, there won’t be anything left for my generation because we will have become Greece.