Govt can’t afford future TELS as scholarships: Kumar

March 12, 2024 4:25 pm

[File Photo]

Opposition MP Premila Kumar claims the government will never have the finances to turn every future TELS into a scholarship going forward.

Speaking in parliament this morning, Kumar stated that many of our youths will miss out on acquiring any tertiary education because the loan option is no longer available.

Kumar says TELS provided a revolving fund that allowed students to borrow for tertiary education and pay once they are employed to keep the fund revolving.

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Kumar says Australia and New Zealand could not forgive loans despite being a developed nation.

“Because they understand that it’s not a sustainable and responsible financing. They recognized the inherent challenge of setting aside money every year for free tertiary education from their national budget.”

Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lenora Qereqeretabua says some opposition members are confusing loans with bonds.

“Under this government right now, more than 50, 000 families can breathe a sigh of relief as they don’t have loans to pay off but can have a salary earner without having a loan repayment connected to their studies hanging over their head because of the bond.”

The coalition government wrote off the TELS loan of around $650m after coming into power, an election promise of the Social Democratic Liberal Party.