Steven Joyce – Hypocrite of the Week

By   /   August 1, 2015  /   38 Comments

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For National to intend issuing arrest warrants, for student loan defaulters, takes the matter of a civil contract into the realm of the Crimes Act.

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Fun Fact #1: Student loan stood at $14.235 billion, as at 30 June 2014 – up from 9.573 billion in 2008.

Fun Fact #2: As at 30 June 2013, 721,437 people had an outstanding student loan, registered with Inland Revenue. That’s roughly 16% of the population.

Fun Fact #3: Approximately 1.2 million people – roughly a quarter of the population –  have taken out  student loans.

Fun Fact #4: Students have borrowed $20.119 billion of which  $9.157 billion has been collected in loan repayments.  More than 415,000 loans have been fully repaid.

Fun Fact #5: $1.031.7 billion in loan repayments were received, $22.2 million less than last year. The total number of students completing formal qualifications reached 144,000 in 2013 – a decrease of 0.6% from 2012. The number of people enrolled in tertiary education has dropped, from  504,000 in 2005 to  about 420,000 (in 2014).

Fun Fact #6: The student fees/debt system began in 1992. Prior to that, students had access to Bursaries and Student Allowances and tuition fees were minimal.

Sources: Ministry of Education, Beehive, NBR, and The Wireless

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During Bill English’s Budget speech on 16 May 2013, the Finance Minister made perhaps the most  extraordinary announcement that I have ever heard from a New Zealand politician;

Introducing the ability to arrest non-compliant borrowers who are about to leave New Zealand

Making it a criminal offence to knowingly default on an overseas-based repayment obligation will allow Inland Revenue to request an arrest warrant to prevent the most non-compliant borrowers from leaving New Zealand. Similar provisions already exist under the Child Support Act. This will be included in a bill later this year.

It was extraordinary on at least two levels.

The first is because a loan defaulter does not normally fall under the Crimes Act. It is what is known as a Civil matter.

If, for example, you, the reader, default on your mortgage, rent, or hire purchase, the Lender does not involve the Police (unless deliberate fraud is involved). Instead, they apply to the Courts for a remedy.

The Tenancy Tribunal and Small Claims Court are examples where litigants can take their cases before a Court, and make their claims. Police are not involved. In the Tenancy Tribunal, there are not even any lawyers (generally).

For National to intend issuing arrest warrants, for student loan defaulters, takes the matter of a civil contract into the realm of the Crimes Act.

Secondly, this law – if enacted – would not stop people leaving New Zealand. It would prevent people returning to New Zealand.

The law targets ex-students with loans  who had moved overseas; who had defaulted on their loan repayments whilst overseas; and who then returned to New Zealand (perhaps for a funeral, holiday, or visit family). Only then were were they to be  arrested at an airport as they attempted to board a plane to fly out of the country again.

Shades of former USSR and it’s Eastern Europe satellite-states!

Under such circumstances; what loan-defaulting New Zealander in their right mind would ever consider coming back to this country?

The law was enacted, and as Alex Fensome reported for Fairfax Media last year;

However, others believe the increase [in former students declaring bankruptcy whilst overseas] is down to the Government’s more aggressive pursuit of recalcitrant debtors, and an attempt by some of the borrowers to wipe their New Zealand slate clean.

Student-loan defaulters can be arrested if they try to enter or leave New Zealand, under legislation passed last year.

A few days ago, it was reported;

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IRD monitoring 20 for possible arrest in student loan repayment crackdown - student debt - steven joyce.

To complete National’s Soviet-style crack-down on loan defaulters, the story also reported;

Ministers have also considered refusing to renew passports for those who do not engage with Inland Revenue.

As Finance Minister Bill English desperately tries to balance the government’s books and return to a Budget Surplus, it appears that National Ministers are prepared to go to any extraordinary lengths to claw back cash from New Zealanders. Whether those New Zealanders are low-paid paper-delivery boys and girls or the sick needing medication or ex-pat New Zealanders living overseas – this government is reaching deep into peoples’ pockets.

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce said this about issuing warrants-to-arrest for loans defaulters;

Just because people have left New Zealand it doesn’t mean they can leave behind their debt.  The New Zealand taxpayer helped to fund their education and they have an obligation to repay it so the scheme can continue to support future generations of students.

Which, when one looks into Joyce’s background, finds something curious.

Steven Joyce,  benefitted from a free, tax-payer funded, University education, with no debt incurred from his  tuition.

The facts are simple;

  1. Steven Joyce, born: 1963.
  2. After completing a zoology degree at Massey University, Steven started his first radio station, Energy FM, in his home town of New Plymouth, at age 21 (1984).
  3. Student Loan system is started: 1992.

Joyce completed his University studies and gained his degree eight years before the Bolger-led National government introduced student fees/debt in 1992.

Joyce’s university education was mostly free, except for minimal course fees. He was most likely  also eligible for a bursary and/or student allowance, as well, to assist his living costs.

As Joyce was reported in the Fairfax story;  “The New Zealand taxpayer helped to fund their education and they have an obligation to repay it so the scheme can continue to support future generations of students.

Will Joyce repay the cost of his University studies?

Or will he simply be one of those who benefitted from a near-free University education – paid by other hard-working taxpayers at the time  – and now insisting that others pay for their own tuition, racking up huge debts in the process?

Another case of a Baby Boomer telling Gen X to “do as I say, not as I do”?

Neither Joyce, nor Revenue Minister Todd McClay, have any moral authority to demand payment for tertiary education from any New Zealander.

Both men are hypocrites.

No one should take them seriously.

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References

National Business Review: Budget 2015 – student loans – does the government dare to act?

Ministry of Education: Student Loan Scheme Annual Report 2014

Beehive.govt.nz: Celebrating student support under Labour

IRD: Budget 2013 announcements

Fairfax  media: Wipe your student loan – go bankrupt

Fairfax media: IRD monitoring 20 for possible arrest in student loan repayment crackdown

NZ Herald: Budget 2012 – ‘Paper boy tax’ on small earnings stuns Labour

Fairfax media: Prescription cost to rise to help pay for Budget

Wikipedia: Steven Joyce

National Party: Steven Joyce

Additional

Salient: A short history of tertiary education funding in New Zealand

NZ Herald: Minister to students – ‘keep your heads down’

Previous related blogposts

Greed is good?

It’s official: Political Dissent Discouraged in NZ!

Shafting our own children’s future? Hell yeah, why not!

Budget 2013: How NOT to deal with Student loan defaulters

Budget 2013: Student debt, politicians, and “social contracts”

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38 Comments

  1. Kim dandy says:

    This is the worst case of ‘pulling the ladder up’ I’ve seen. There is a stronger word than hypercrite I would use for this man.

    • Blake says:

      I agree. Maybe the words are — ” slimy slippery smooth talker ” ?
      Or — ” slick elitist donkey jonkey mouthpiece ” ?
      Or — ” corporate (big bucks) lapdog ” ?

      Or all of the above. Yes — that sounds right.

  2. Wensleydale says:

    Hypocrisy is nothing new for this government. Benefiting from a free education, and then requiring subsequent generations to take on the burden of debt in order to pay for theirs is hypocrisy of the highest order. It’s really no different to Paula Benefit taking advantage of the Training Incentive Allowance in order to further her career, and then cancelling the scheme entirely.

    Pulling the ladder up behind them, and then demanding draconian measures to recoup costs they were entitled to incur for free is the National Party way. It’s a case of “I’ve got my slice of cake, you people can fuck off and rummage through bins for the scraps from our table.”

    If money is so tight, will Joyce be refunding the $140,000 he spent on a curved screen for the reception area at MBIE HQ? Or the $67,000 he spent on a fucking sign?

    Didn’t think so.

  3. Mike the Lefty says:

    It will probably be contracted out to a private firm. When you approach the departure gate you will see the Baycorp goons waiting to pounce on a debt defaulter and take them away for a little “persuasion” to pay up.

  4. Jay says:

    We’re supposed to be a richer country now than in 81 yet it was free back then. Roger the Dodger changed all that. That money has been transferred to the top 1% and 10%. It’s shameful criminalising students.

  5. PhilDC says:

    and its off to Debtors jail – except if you are banker and too big to fail.

  6. Helena says:

    Banksters calling up all loans – Ministers have their orders.
    What these Ministers don’t get is that as we ever so surreptitiously slide down this path, the banksters increase their control. Once control is achieved they always put in their own, and what was once a “minister” becomes what the cabal calls “a useless eater” and therefore cannon fodder.
    Think about it, Joyce ol’ chap.

  7. wild katipo says:

    And THIS ….is the sort of vicious hypocrisy that has come from the neo liberal shit for brains politicians ever since it was introduced under the traitor Douglas.

    Carried on by such as this dead eyed giggling hypocrite Joyce….one would wonder if we cannot have an audit made of those who enjoyed free education at the taxpayers expense in past years.

    I’m sure the NZ taxpayer would be VERY interested to know just how much could be recouped if the historic sum were to be adjusted to today’s prices.

    Very interested indeed.

    So how about it ,Joyce ? , …oh …and the gains you have made so far from all your business interests… and by which you have abjectly failed to pay back a single cent of all those monies received from the NZ taxpayer…seem to indicate a non compliant personality…

    Are you some sort of criminal thug , Mr Joyce?….your behavior seems to suggest a type of predatory profile in this regard….

    Or are you simply an opportunist type that happily takes the money and runs whilst demanding others pay up ?

    I’m sure the ACT party would be MOST interested to know if they truly believe in what they preach as well…

    The Taxpayers Union, perhaps?

    Strangely silent on the issue are we boys?

    If so ….why?

    All…that back pay….and not a squeak from the neo liberals…

    Hypocrites the lot of them .

    Hypocrites.

  8. Vivie says:

    This National Government’s attitude to free education was revealed in their first Budget of 2009, when they cut funding to all levels of education, from preschool to tertiary, and for apprenticeships, night classes and various training programmes.

    National’s increased funding to supposedly private schools, which already receive taxpayer money, and the fact that many National MPs gained from largely free tertiary education and now advocate for user pays, are two further examples of the National Government’s cynicism and hypocrisy.

  9. How does Mr Joyce feel about corporations , say Radioworks , not paying their ( at least ) 22 million dollar tax bill ?

  10. Richard Christie says:

    The Soviet Union used to arrest its citizens trying to leave.

    I’m sure they had their reasons as well.

    Those who have a student loan, understand this: your freedom is now the property of the state.

    • wild katipo says:

      I wonder how long it will be before Premier Key appears on the Beehive balcony in full military attire flanked with his officers Stephen Joyce , Gerry Brownlee , Pill English , Paula Benefit , et al dressed in similar fashion ?

      And chauffeured by the likes of Cameron Slater , Rachael Glaucoma ?

      And I would imagine the new salute would be that of the hand extended to pull on a ponytail.

      Which ..if you try it yourself , – hand outstretched with fingers meeting the thumb , hand going up and down – would actually be a totally apt and appropriate gesture in summing up the whole bunch of them.

  11. BASTIAT says:

    Hi Frank,

    Your reasoning here regarding Mr Joyce strikes me as a bit off. While bashing Steven “pretty legal”/Sky City super-negotiator Joyce is something most of us can enjoy, I can’t say I buy your argument.

    When Joyce states “Just because people have left New Zealand it doesn’t mean they can leave behind their debt. The New Zealand taxpayer helped to fund their education and they have an obligation to repay it so the scheme can continue to support future generations of students…” he is pointing out the fact that these borrowers have a primarily legal obligation to pay back their debt, based on the fact that, y’know, they signed an agreement which stipulated this.

    To my knowledge, Joyce has never signed such an agreement. This is the key difference which you have ‘conveniently’ ignored.

    • Bastiat – I think you’re attempting to defend the indefensible based on the premise of contract law?

      Is that it it?

      I would strongly suggest to you that a contract based on coercion is not valid. By coercion, I mean that unless students signed the contract to gain an education whilst incurring massive debt – they would not be allowed to attend University.

      That’s not “choice”, that is coercion.

      Joyce never faced such a situation. His University education was handed to him at minimal cost. Then National implemented student loans and higher fees in 1992.

      That is the issue here.

      • BASTIAT says:

        Frank – Thanks for your response

        “I would strongly suggest to you that a contract based on coercion is not valid. By coercion, I mean that unless students signed the contract to gain an education whilst incurring massive debt – they would not be allowed to attend University.
        That’s not “choice”, that is coercion. ”
        -FM

        I agree that a contract based on coercion is not valid.

        Unfortunately for you, however, what you have described isn’t an example of coercion. Implicit in the concept of coercion is force. Nobody is forced to take out a student loan. Ipso facto, there is no coercion involved. I would know; I have a student loan… Do you? Probably not. So please don’t make things up. Those of us with loans know the system from personal experience. Furthermore, there are students at university who haven’t taken out loans. Therefore, your premise is utterly false.

        Leaving that aside, there is the other issue of Joyce benefiting from free education in the past, while his party is operating a scheme that isn’t free today (albeit heavily subsidised). I don’t agree that this is hypocritical.

        Just because Joyce, as a student, happily received a free tertiary education does not mean he can’t be opposed to the government funding students today to the same degree as the 1980s. Your logic seems to be that if somebody benefits from a government program they cannot oppose it later on. This is ridiculous. To take an example, many left-wing voters are critical of marginal tax cuts, yet many of them would have benefitted from these in the 1990s. Are these people hypocrites? I don’t think so. Yet these people have benefited from such a policy personally and, going by your logic, cannot advocate against such a scheme later on, which would benefit a younger generation of taxpayers which missed out the first time around, just like ‘free’ university.

        Hypocrisy means holding yourself to different moral standards than others. When Joyce advocates for the current system in general he is referring to the government’s role in education, not what students ought/ought not do, which is a separate thing altogether. Joyce cannot be labelled a hypocrite on this basis, unless you can show that he did not meet his end of the bargain when it came to paying for his fees.

        • Bastiat – there are many forms of coercion, not just force. Fear; threats of violence; extortion/blackmail, economic deprivation; are all definitions of coercion.

          Once you comprehend that, your argument collapses.

          • BASTIAT says:

            Oh boy…

            First off ‘fear’ in itself is not coercion. This would entail that somebody with an irrational fear was being ‘coerced’. Yet, you have listed it regardless. Weird

            “I would strongly suggest to you that a contract based on coercion is not valid. By coercion, I mean that unless students signed the contract to gain an education whilst incurring massive debt – they would not be allowed to attend University. That’s not “choice”, that is coercion. ” -FM

            Secondly, you have completely ignored my other point where I pointed out the rather obvious fact that there are students at University who did not take out such loans, which proves that one does not need to take out a government loan in order to go to University, contra your statement in the above quote. Many people choose to work before/during study, for instance.

            Anyhow, even under your broad definition, students aren’t coerced into signing a student loan contract. They can always say no. I know this from personal experience. You don’t.
            In four years at University I have heard various complaints about the Studylink and student loan scheme from fellow students. Not once did I hear anybody state or even imply they were being coerced in any way with regards to any aspect of these schemes.
            Which is, of course, completely unsurprising as people know when they’re being coerced.

            • First off ‘fear’ in itself is not coercion.

              If fear isn’t a form of coercion, as you moronically assert, then every totalitarian regime that ever existed has been wasting their time with instilling fear in their populace? How naive are you?

              By any standard, that’s a pretty stupid assertion to make, Bastiat.

              Secondly, you have completely ignored my other point where I pointed out the rather obvious fact that there are students at University who did not take out such loans, which proves that one does not need to take out a government loan in order to go to University, contra your statement in the above quote. Many people choose to work before/during study, for instance.

              Really? “there are students at University who did not take out such loans”? How many? And how do you know precisely how they financed their tertiary studies? You’ve made claims that are opinion – not fact.

              Yet, $14+ billion of student loans indicates that the vast majority have indeed taken out a loan.

              Because I’m guessing that not many students had a spare $40,000 for university tuition, squirrelled away under their beds. Not unless their name is Max Key?

              Anyhow, even under your broad definition, students aren’t coerced into signing a student loan contract.

              The coercion exists because if a student can’t access money to pay for their fees, they can’t attend University. Really, even someone like you comprehend this simple truism?

              Simply put; if you can’t pay for it, you can’t use it.

              So if a loan is offered, then, you take it. Because your alternative is not to attend University. No money = no University.

              Do you grasp that?

              I know this from personal experience. You don’t.

              Why do you assume “I don’t”? That’s a pretty big assumption for an anonymous individual like you to make.

              But then, all your arguments seem predicated on assumptions, opinions, and bugger all else.

              Judging by your comments, I’m assuming you’re an ACT supporter. Which would be unsurprisingly, as the hallmark of young ACT supporters is a modest amount of intellect – but huge amounts of naivete, and a sad lack of life experience.

              You’ve attempted to justify Steven Joyce’s hypocrisy by splitting hairs; semantics; and some bare-faced assumptions. But no facts to speak of.

              You’ve split hairs to attempt to validate why Joyce should have been allowed a free university education – but other students could not, post 1992. In effect you are supporting a system of privilege for some – but not for others.

              Really Bastiat, dogma (especially the free market/rightwing variety) is a poor premise for sound analysis.

              • BASTIAT says:

                “Really? “there are students at University who did not take out such loans”? How many? And how do you know precisely how they financed their tertiary studies? You’ve made claims that are opinion – not fact.”

                Yes, really! I don’t know how many, but it’s beside the point. How do I know how people take care of their finances? Because, believe it or not, students have a habit of socialising and it is not uncommon to discuss one’s finances with your fellow students from time to time, especially flatmates. I thought this was common knowledge? Anyhow, you’re mistaken; these are facts, not opinions. I know what I know through actually having talked to people on campus.

                “The coercion exists because if a student can’t access money to pay for their fees, they can’t attend University. Really, even someone like you comprehend this simple truism?
                Simply put; if you can’t pay for it, you can’t use it…
                Do you grasp that?”

                Has it occurred to you that I grasp what you’re saying, but that I just don’t happen to agree with your conclusion? Student loans are not coercion. Nobody is forced or threatened to go to university AND simultaneously take a loan out with Studylink. As I pointed out, you can save up and/or work on the side. There is no coercion involved whatsoever, at any point.

                “Why do you assume “I don’t”? That’s a pretty big assumption for an anonymous individual like you to make. “
                Is it? Well then, enlighten me, do you have a student loan owing under the current system?

                “But then, all your arguments seem predicated on assumptions, opinions, and bugger all else.”
                I’ve already refuted this. I’ve stated what I know based on talking to fellow students about their finances, having a student loan outstanding myself, signing up for a student loan in the first place, knowing how the system works and so on.

                “Judging by your comments, I’m assuming you’re an ACT supporter. Which would be unsurprisingly, as the hallmark of young ACT supporters is a modest amount of intellect – but huge amounts of naivete, and a sad lack of life experience.”
                What was it you were saying about making assumptions?

                “You’ve split hairs to attempt to validate why Joyce should have been allowed a free university education – but other students could not, post 1992.”
                I never argued that Steven Joyce should have received a ‘free’ university education per se. I argued that he shouldn’t be held to the same standard as people like myself, who have student loans, because he never signed up for one but we did . That’s the key difference. That’s not hair-splitting in any way, shape or form. If the scheme had been the same in his day, then of course he should pay back what would have been a loan. But it wasn’t. He didn’t agree to pay back anything and so he cannot be held to the same standard. Borrowers like myself sign up voluntarily knowing the terms. There is no coercion involved. We know what we are in for and if we don’t like it we don’t have to sign.

                • “Really? “there are students at University who did not take out such loans”? How many? And how do you know precisely how they financed their tertiary studies? You’ve made claims that are opinion – not fact.”

                  Yes, really! I don’t know how many, but it’s beside the point. How do I know how people take care of their finances? Because, believe it or not, students have a habit of socialising and it is not uncommon to discuss one’s finances with your fellow students from time to time, especially flatmates. I thought this was common knowledge? Anyhow, you’re mistaken; these are facts, not opinions.

                  So… you don’t have any supporting data or facts that “there are students at University who did not take out such loans” – but you’re still prepared to assert that as “facts, not opinions”?

                  There is no coercion involved whatsoever, at any point.

                  You are doggedly refusing to accept that there are many forms of coercion, as I pointed out in my August 2, 2015 at 5:04 pm post above.

                  This is ironic, as the National government is now employing the full coercive powers of the state; arrest, detention, removing the right to travel – in their pursuit of loans “defaulters”.

                  You may consider that point before rushing to respond.

                  I never argued that Steven Joyce should have received a ‘free’ university education per se. I argued that he shouldn’t be held to the same standard as people like myself, who have student loans, because he never signed up for one but we did

                  Your whole argument is predicated on hair-splitting which only a dogmatist is capable of.

                  You’ve missed the whole point of what I have written above;

                  Joyce completed his University studies and gained his degree eight years before the Bolger-led National government introduced student fees/debt in 1992.

                  Joyce’s university education was mostly free, except for minimal course fees. He was most likely also eligible for a bursary and/or student allowance, as well, to assist his living costs.

                  As Joyce was reported in the Fairfax story; “The New Zealand taxpayer helped to fund their education and they have an obligation to repay it so the scheme can continue to support future generations of students.”

                  Will Joyce repay the cost of his University studies?

                  Or will he simply be one of those who benefitted from a near-free University education – paid by other hard-working taxpayers at the time – and now insisting that others pay for their own tuition, racking up huge debts in the process?

                  You are either wilfully dodging the point – or are ideologically blind to the problem of National/ACT’s double standards.

                  Which are you?

                  I trust your University papers are not based on such flimsy thinking as what you’ve been indulging here, Bastiat.

                  You are wholly unconvincing in your ACT dogma.

                  • BASTIAT says:

                    You are doggedly refusing to accept that there are many forms of coercion, as I pointed out

                    I don’t actually. I just don’t buy your argument that students are generally coerced into signing a student loan. It simply isn’t part of the process. I know I wasn’t coerced. And additionally, as I mentioned before, despite hearing numerous and varied complaints about Studylink, finances and loans I’ve never heard any fellow student claim they were coerced into a loan agreement. Funny that

                    “You are either wilfully dodging the point – or are ideologically blind to the problem of National/ACT’s double standards.
                    Which are you?

                    “The New Zealand taxpayer helped to fund their education and they have an obligation to repay it so the scheme can continue to support future generations of students.”
                    Will Joyce repay the cost of his University studies?

                    This is the heart of the whole issue. What you seem to be trying to characterise as “hair splitting” is my point that when Joyce says “obligation” he is referring to what these debtors signed up for on a legal basis. Joyce himself does not have this “obligation” because he never incurred it. The obligation arose from signing the loan agreement. This should be rather obvious.

                    Sure, Mr Joyce also has a political view that user-pays is preferable to some extent. He is, after all, a National Party minister. But that isn’t what he’s talking about here. This is a primarily legal obligation which Mr Joyce never entered into. You seem to be trying to characterise Mr Joyce’s statement regarding legal obligations as some sort of moral declaration, hence the ‘hypocrisy’ angle, when he is in fact making a descriptive comment about how the student loan scheme works. He is correct. We borrowers DO have this legal obligation and we know this. Were this not his point, he wouldn’t be bothering to chase people up at the airport.

                    Or will he simply be one of those who benefitted from a near-free University education – paid by other hard-working taxpayers at the time – and now insisting that others pay for their own tuition, racking up huge debts in the process? Well, given the LAW as it stands regarding student funding, I sure hope he “insists” that people stick to their legally binding agreements. You accuse me of wilful blindness yet you completely ignore the context of what Mr Joyce is saying i.e. the legal obligations of borrowers.

                    “Your whole argument is predicated on hair-splitting which only a dogmatist is capable of”
                    Do you really believe Joyce isn’t referring primarily to the legal aspect of student loan repayment obligations when he mentions them in the above quote? This accusation of hair-splitting is ridiculous. Joyce is making a descriptive claim.

                    “I trust your University papers are not based on such flimsy thinking as what you’ve been indulging here, Bastiat.”
                    Thanks Frank.

                    I trust you can one day acknowledge the important difference between descriptive legal statements about our student loan scheme, as Mr Joyce is making, and moral hypocrisy arising from holding people to different standards to oneself.

                    • Regardless of your rather silly nit-picking; hair-splitting, and semantic game-playing, Bastiat I note that you still haven’t been able justify the double standards shown by the fact that Joyce (and other National ministers, including John Key) enjoyed a University education at minimal cost, and paid predominantly by the tax-paper.

                      After 1992, they changed the rules.

                      You may deny that student fees/loans are a coercion, but that reflects more of your own dogmatic, asinine limited definitions of coercion.

                      I notice you’ve not been able to dispel my assertion that most students unlucky not to have been born into wealth must incur a student debt if they are to have a University education.

                      No money = no education.

                      You don’t need a degree that understand that simple reality.

                      The funniest thing here is that you defend this rorting of the system with your pseudo-intellectual game-playing dogma (notable by a lack of any facts to speak of)… and soon to be facing your own student debt in the future.

                      You not only have failed to defend your political doyen, but you’ve illustrated the lengths that young National/ACT supporters of your ilk will go to.

                      Question now is, why you care so much that I have condemned Joyce for his hypocrisy? What’s in it for you?

                      He certainly doesn’t care that you’re incurring a huge debt for your education – whilst his was paid for by other taxpayers.

                      I certainly don’t get this fixation with the “servant” defending his “lord”. Not unless you’ve got “skin in the game” and are connected with Joyce or his cronies?

                      Considering the mental gymnastics you’ve engaged in, that would be the only explanation.

                      Perhaps “Joyce Jnr” might’ve been a better pseudonym? 😉

                    • James K says:

                      Bastiat, you’re really spinning in circles to justify Joyce’s hypocrisy aren’t you?

                      Wanking on about whether or not he signed a contract is BS. The point is thsat he got a free education and then he and his mates instigated user-pays in tertiary education. They implemented contracted teriary fees after he got his at tax-payers’ expense.

                      So your sophistry is just so much bullshit.

                      Tell your Act mates that having a circle-jerk doesn’t count when it comes to talking to Varsity students on this issue.

                      Student debt thus far: $42,000

                • Really? “there are students at University who did not take out such loans”? How many? And how do you know precisely how they financed their tertiary studies? You’ve made claims that are opinion – not fact.”

                  Yes, really! I don’t know how many, but it’s beside the point.

                  Actually, it’s not “beside the point” at all, Bastiat.

                  And if you actually had bothered to read my blogpost, you’d know the answer was:

                  Fun Fact #3: Approximately 1.2 million people – roughly a quarter of the population – have taken out student loans.

                  You really need to pay attention instead of making ill-informed, knee-jerk responses.

      • Rosemary McDonald says:

        @Frank

        “…..a contract based on coercion is not valid.”

        No loan, no education….”choice” only for the spawn of the rich.

        Sir…I like your thinking on this (and many other issues, but especially THIS).

        I would LOVE to see this tested in court.

    • Gemma says:

      Bastiat, you have introduced a red herring in a feeble attempt to obfuscate and distract from the issue at hand. Your faux moderate approach is suspect and reminiscent of John Key- are you a National Party troll?

      As Frank explained, the point is that Steven Joyce and other National MPs benefited from a largely free tertiary education, yet National was happy to deny subsequent generations the same opportunities.

      National MPs and their supporters are hypocritical and lack integrity in regard to this issue and many other matters.

    • Harold Saxon, esq says:

      My student loan is over $50K by now,not sure how much as I’ve long since stopped looking.

      It’s disgusting to know that Joyce got his education free while the rest of us are going to be paying of our debt for decades to come.

      Bastiat – you’re full of shit,mate. I read your arguments (such as they are). Your premise that this isn’t coercion is rubbish. I have to have a degree to practice in the field I’m interested in or else I’m liable to arrest and imprisonment for a long time. If that’s not a form of coercion then I don’t know what is.

      A couple of my uni mates had a read of your posts and laughed at your BS. So you haven’t convinced anyone yet.

  12. BASTIAT says:

    Hi Frank,

    Your reasoning here regarding Mr Joyce strikes me as a bit off. While bashing Steven “pretty legal”/Sky City super-negotiator Joyce is something most of us can enjoy, I can’t say I buy your argument.

    When Joyce states “Just because people have left New Zealand it doesn’t mean they can leave behind their debt. The New Zealand taxpayer helped to fund their education and they have an obligation to repay it so the scheme can continue to support future generations of students…” he is pointing out the fact that these borrowers have a primarily legal obligation to pay back their debt, based on the fact that, y’know, they signed an agreement which stipulated this.

    To my knowledge, Joyce has never signed such an agreement. This is the key difference which you have ‘conveniently’ ignored.

    [Dear Mods, please delete earlier version due to formatting. Thanks]

    • Bastiat, it doesn’t matter a jot what Joyce may’ve signed or not signed. You’re debating angels-on-a-pin that is essentially meaningless.

      The fact that Joyce was privy to a free education and other student subsequently were denied that privilege is the real issue here. Not your quasi-legal bullshit.

      The fact that Joyce and his cronies instigated user-pays for university education, demanding that students sign an agreement, or else they’d be denied access – is precisely the point.

      In effect you’re framing your argument on precisely the double standards that I have attacked Joyce on. Not very clever.

    • Harold Saxon, esq says:

      You idiot,Bastiat, of course Joyce didn’t sign a student loan contract. Student loans only came in after he’d gotten his education free. Then he pulled the ladder up after him.

      What’s so difficult to understand about that?? Hair splitting much???

  13. Mike in Auckland says:

    Add the many obligations imposed under the Social Security Act now – that is by WINZ, and we can see how we have nothing short of slave labour and forced labour in the country, often at or just above the minimum wage.

    This is nothing much different from dictatorial rule.

    Persons who do not comply get no income, no social services, and if they have a student loan debt, and cannot keep up with paying it off, they face arrest and potentially slave labour inside.

    Welcome to the brighter future.

  14. Blake says:

    I am not surprised by anything anymore. Stephen Joyce, what can you say – the elitist unethical power tripper who could really care less about what we write here about him. He is above it all, he thinks he is above the law.
    I have for years seen the similarity between he and Dick Cheney. Dick was the power voice behind the stupid puppet junior bush. Joyce is the same power hungry mouthpiece behind donkey jonkey. He is the one who is mostly in charge and heavily connected to some of these mega international unethical and greedy corporations.
    I do not trust Joyce as far as I can throw a huge rock.

    Thanks again Frank, another great piece ! I like your work.
    We need to embarrass these greedy; power hungry a ____ holes and put pressure on them with the truths as much as we can. “Pleading and hoping doesn’t cut it.” Exposing them to the light of day and continuing our pressure is a good thing.

    Put this all in your pipe and smoke it Mr. ” Know it all ” HYPOCRITE Steven Joyce.

  15. hellpat says:

    Wouldn’t it be more productive for our countries future, to chase those parent’s who are currently overseas not paying child support for their offspring remaining in NZ?

  16. ThinkAboutIt says:

    Joyce and English are led by the biggest hypocrite of them all John Key.
    Not only did Key live in a state house he also got the same free university education.
    The neoliberal zealotry sees all education as having no utility if it is not “economically” functional. Not only is it almost impossible to identify objectively what is economically functional, this is an area of market failure, the indirect consequences of this mind-set are as damaging to society as any totalitarian regime.
    All tertiary education should be free. The only constraints should be time limits to complete a course of study and other such measures to prevent time wasters. Indeed I am in the camp that believes that all “functional” degrees should be accompanied by papers in the social, biological and environmental sciences.

  17. Andrea says:

    Once upon a time, in the long ago, students older than 15 were able to get work in the holidays to cover such sundries as clothes, accommodation, the hysterical price of text books, and school trips to foreign parts (i.e. the North or South Island of NZ).

    Some of those students also helped out the family budget by helping to buy similar items for family members.

    ‘Varsity of itself was affordable – yet transport, accommodation, clothes, text books weren’t – without that summer break employment.

    Kids from better-off families could take on useful internships. Kids from elsewhere went for the high-pay jobs (if they were blokes) or genteel (if they were sheilas).

    And then that utterly useful institution of the summer holiday job crashed. Thanks, Fourth Labour Government. Work that would have been left for needy students went to desperate older people, or wasn’t offered at all.

    And we went down the American route of ‘paying for tertiary education’ WITHOUT ensuring that those vital minimum wage jobs were left in the marketplace.

    And such is the state of the workplaces – there are still too few positions to allow youngsters to clear their debts, do the OE, and gather the dollars and experience for life thereafter.

    Until that state of affairs is corrected – that there is a fair chance of being able to stay here to clear debt from useful and fairly-paid work – then Joyce and his ‘yeah! Make ’em pay! The cheats!’ brigade should lay very low and say/do ’nuffin’ ‘.

  18. […] blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 1 August […]