NDP contender Adrian Dix proposes eliminating interest on student loans, restoring grants

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      B.C. NDP leadership candidate Adrian Dix is proposing to increase post-secondary education access by reinstating a minimum tax on banks and financial institutions.

      In a campaign announcement released today (February 22), Dix said he wants to see $18 million dedicated towards restoring grants to post-secondary students needing financial assistance, and $30 million towards eliminating interest payments on student loans.

      He said the two measures could be funded by reapplying the provincial Corporate Capital Tax, which was phased out between 2008 and 2010.

      “We’re seeing the average student is coming out of university on average with $27,000 in debt, according to the Canadian Federation of Students, and this is something we need to address,” said Dix in a phone interview.

      He said the tax, which he’s proposing to restore to January 2008 levels, generated $106 to $108 million in revenues in recent years.

      “The idea of eliminating the tax by the Liberals is that it would create jobs in B.C., but in fact since they’ve eliminated the tax, banking jobs have left B.C. and have increased in Ontario,” he said.

      “It hasn’t served to drive employment, and of course over a 10-year period when you cut a hundred million dollar tax, you’re taking a billion dollars that could support post-secondary education, education, health care and other programs.”

      Dix said the plan stems from his meetings with student groups in the Lower Mainland, Victoria, Kelowna, Kamloops and Prince George.

      The announcement comes just as the Canadian Federation of Students prepares to launch a website this week demonstrating the impacts of what the group calls “record-high tuition fees and inadequate student financial aid” on students and their families.

      You can follow Yolande Cole on Twitter at twitter.com/yolandecole.



      Lynn Smith

      Feb 22, 2011 at 2:48pm

      Once again, Dix proves that he is thoughtful, action oriented and serious about leading BC and the NDP. Rather than focusing on rather vague aspects like his wonderful personality and ability to charm us with endless positive thoughts, he is actually focusing on the issues and doing so in detail. How refreshing.


      Feb 22, 2011 at 3:25pm

      Dix being so outspoken about his thoughts and ideas is why he is such a threat to conservatives and the BC Liberals.

      With Dix as leader, the progressives will almost certainly form the next BC Government.

      glen p robbins

      Feb 22, 2011 at 4:04pm

      I agree with Lynn Smith. Adrian Dix like him or not is comfortable with who he is and it shows. The threat of Dix becoming the Opposition leader HAS to make any Christy Clark supporters seriously reconsider their position. There is no possible way Christy Clark is Adrian Dix's intellectual equal.

      Ignoring the obvious for cash.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 10:50pm

      BC collects more tax income from student loan interest than it does from all corporate taxation.

      Steve Y

      Feb 23, 2011 at 1:01pm

      Wow, good ideas from an NDP candidate. *crash*... oh man, a pig just flew through my window!

      Is BC a province or a business?

      Feb 23, 2011 at 1:05pm

      Just want to get it straight about the cash thing, because the Liberals use the system to get at cash for big ticket items while bleeding the rest. Dix hits the grade, this is major especially since the highest percentage of unemployment are Canada's youth, 15% compared to 8.1% unemployment for the rest. This group is between the ages 19 and 25. It is alarming, and who is going to buy those expensive homes if the youth of BC can't get a job, or the education to get ahead? IMMIGRANTs? Working into old age because there are no choices retirement isn't what it used to be or Health Care depending on your postal code of course. And if BC is a business what kinda business is it in, real estate, people, what? This is a very important decision, of course the details will have to be worked out. It would be nice to see the province supporting its own instead of foreignors from other lands as bc government picks up the tab for education while sticking its own. Don't worry about big corporations, they know how to look after themsselves real well. A lot better than regular population that have a tought go of it because the greedy always want their way. Can''t have regulations who will buy my tainted meat. Dix has plenty of fans, and not just that. Dix has their confidence and trust not because he tells people what they want to hear but because he tells it like it is.