Labour promises PCs for pupils

Under a Labour government, all intermediate and high school pupils would own a portable computer, David Cunliffe announced today.

The programme would be based on the successful Manaiakalani project in Tamaki, where families pay instalments of $3.50 a week for new and insured digital devices they get to keep, Mr Cunliffe said.

"From Year 5 to Year 13, under a Labour-led Government every student will have their own personal digital device," he announced on TV3's The Nation.

"It'll be subsidised for parents to get into, there'll be a very low-cost payment plan, with a hardship fund for those larger families who perhaps couldn't afford it."

Mr Cunliffe said they projected 70 per cent of eligible pupils would take up the offer.

"It will cost $19 million in the first year, $41 million of operating expenses in the second year and then cruises down to about $30 million a year after that."

NZEI president Judith Nowotarski said the policy would help level the playing field, as long as it was combined with access to affordable broadband.

Other announcements relating to Labour's education platform included that another $25 million would be "sunk into technology training for teachers" and that $15 million would be spent on a rebuild plan to create 21st century learning environments.

Mr Cunliffe also said he stood by saying he was sorry for being a man yesterday, after the comment attracted ridicule.

He made the comments at a Women's Refuge forum in Auckland where he said he's sorry that he's a man because men commit most family violence.

"Can I begin by saying I'm sorry," he said.

"I don't often say it. I'm sorry for being a man right now, because family and sexual violence is perpetrated overwhelmingly by men against women and children.

"So the first message to the men out there is: wake up, stand up and man up and stop this bull****!"

On The Nation this morning, Mr Cunliffe said he was proud to be a non-violent man, however no one should be proud of the country's domestic violence statistics.

"Yesterday the message was all about Labour's policy against domestic violence, we've lead that debate and I've stuck my neck out on this.

"I wrote that, and I stand by every word of it."

Mr Key said Mr Cunliffe's comments were insulting to New Zealand men.

"The problem isn't being a man, the problem is if you're an abusive man. I think it's a bit insulting to imply that all men are abusive.

"A small group are, and they need to change their behaviour and be held to account."

Mr Key questioned whether the Labour leader was sincere about the statement.

"Is he going to go down to the local rugby club and get up and say 'I'm sorry for being a man'? I don't think so."

- Brendan Manning of APNZ

Counting on losing

Labour are now at the point where they clearly know they are going to lose the election and so are making wild promises knowing they will never have to keep them. These promises can prove useful after the election when Labour can go into a sort of, "I told you so" mode and claim that if only they had been elected, they would have done whatever they promised.

So Labour are basically counting on losing the election. If they actually won, they would find they had dug themselves quite a hole with these promises. However, the chances of that happening are, to put it mildly, not very good.

Youth is our wisest investment

I am always puzzled by why most National and ACT supporters appear to be so anti-children and anti-families.  They seem to forget who it will be who will be paying taxes to keep the Country going, and to pay their superannuation hand outs in the decades to come!

It is also interesting how they seem to have no problem with what their own political party, National, seem to promise to their rich mates - like funding for billionaire yacht races, bailing our Finance Companies, etc, etc.  But as soon as another party promises something they scream "Oh no, we can't afford that - we will go broke!"

There seems to be huge ignorance to the fact National now have NZ in over $81 billion in debt, and are still borrowing some weeks - hundreds of millions more!  In fact NZ is now in more debt than ever before in its history - yet Key tells us 'everything is just peachy'.

It also concerns me the Nat Fanatics and much of the media ignore Key's blatant 'changing his promises'  every few weeks.  For example Asset sales were originally to "reduce debt", then he changed that to "for hospitals and schools", but now apparently it is for "roads and bridges!" [abridged]


Almost there

Good policy intent but it is more costly than necessary. Rather than give the children their own, surely it would be better for the school to own them and loan them out? Then one device is used for multiple children rather than one device per child. Also, the device a year 5 child gets won't last until year 13. Will they get another? More explanation would be good.

Show all the facts!

libellule:You are ignoring the increase in overseas debt from $10b under Labour to $52b under National and still rising. 

Labour's promises

add up to less spending a year than National's cronyism and business subsidies. Tax cuts, for example, to the top earners have cost 1 billion a year to date . Overall that alone has cost more money than gained from asset sales and will continue to lose 1 billion a year plus the lost returns from those assets.

Not to mention National has been using the proceeds from the sales as a slush fund with only a small percentage of spending so far on the actual things it's stated purpose was for.

At least this idea is beneficial to the whole nation at school levels which can only be good. And it will cost the about the same per year as the tiwai smelter handout let alone the power deal we all indirectly subsidize.

Something positive

Good to at least see some positive policy announcements being reported. Tired of the orchestrated smear campaign - American style dirty politics we can well do without in NZ. A pathetic ploy by the ruling elite and their lackeys desperate to hang on to power. All they can offer is asset sales to build a few roads and $60 billion of debt.

Costly elections promises

I pray to God that Labour does not win this election. All the millions Mr Cunliffe promised to spend would see NZ bankrupt. I have lost count of the total amount promised so far. God defend NZ against destitution. 

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