Expect treats but no universal student allowances from Labour

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern is quashing suggestions she will announce a universal allowance for tertiary students - and has ruled out introducing a capital gains tax this election.

Ms Ardern dodged a barrage of questions about the expected tertiary policy from Duncan Garner on The AM Show, refusing to announce anything before Treasury's pre-election economic report is released on 23 August.

"We are not going to announce anything that we can't credibly cost and demonstrate how we will pay for it," Ms Ardern said.

"Our economic credibility sits at our core as a Labour Party."

The questions came after Newshub's political editor Patrick Gower said he is confident a "big bribe is coming, and it's aimed at students."

Gower said polling shows people agree student loans and allowances aren't cutting it, and with more people looking to retrain in tech industries, a big policy drop could cause a "youth-quake."

Ms Ardern said she fundamentally believes in free education, but that "doesn't mean we can introduce that in one fell swoop".

She recognised problem areas in tertiary education as student loans, student allowances that haven't kept up with the cost of living and said fees "are an issue."

But she "wouldn't commit to things the Labour Party can't demonstrate how [it'd] pay for," and said universal allowances are "probably too far".

When asked how Labour would pay for any changes, Ms Ardern said the Party needs to wait for information on how the books are looking.

As far as the introduction of new taxes goes, Ms Ardern said if elected to Government, Labour would ask for a review of taxation in New Zealand, and would act on those findings.

"I'm not going to pre-empt what it would find, and I'm not holding myself back on being able to act on what that group finds... because that's what good Governments do - they act when they are told something is fair or unfair," she said.

She said the Labour Party is not campaigning on a capital gains tax this election, and promised that "regardless of what happens in the future, the family home is off the table."

But Gower says it's not just Labour in a "vicious fight for power" - "Steven Joyce will have bribes too."

Newshub. 

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