Students Still Stranded Over Summer
News that Labour and the Alliance have voted against moves to reinstate the Emergency Unemployment Benefit for students unable to find work over summer has disappointed students studying at Victoria University, according to Student President Chris Hipkins.
“The past two summers when students have been unable to get that extra income support have been characterised by tremendous hardship and ever increasing demands on student foodbanks,” Mr. Hipkins said. “It’s incredibly disappointing that the Government haven’t taken the opportunity to do something about that,”
“We congratulate the Greens and NZ First for supporting Sue Bradford's Social Security (Work Testing and Community Wage) Amendment Bill which would have reinstated the EUB (now renamed the Community Wage Student) that the National Government cut during the last term,” Mr. Hipkins said.
In 1998 when the National Government cut the EUB Steve Maharey, then opposition spokesperson for tertiary education described the decision as a "mean spirited attack on students which will save a small amount of money" and pledged to reinstate the benefit when Labour became the Government.
“So much for that pledge! Labour assured students that it would repeal this most unjust and insidious piece of National government legislation - they have broken that promise. It seems just as mean spirited for Labour and the Alliance to promise students something and not deliver as it was for National to cut it in the first place,” Chris Hipkins concluded.