Govt's additional $6m for Work and Income welcomed
The New Zealand University Students Association (NZUSA) has reacted positively to the government's announcement today of an additional $6 million for the Department of Work and Income (DWI) to improve their processing of student finance.
"We are pleased that Social Services Minister Steve Maharey has managed to secure appropriate funding from Cabinet to enable smoother processing of student loans and allowances for next year," said Sam Huggard, NZUSA Co President. "The government have recognised that if they want a quality service for students it needs to funded accordingly."
"In particular we are pleased that funding has been provided for 34 on-campus Work and Income sites throughout the country to deal with specific problems that students may have. Whilst the 0800 number will still be the first point of call, it is reassuring that students will have access to networked DWI staff to iron out any additional problems that they have with their applications for student finance."
"As a result of the changes that DWI are making we are cautiously optimistic that they will be in a better position to process loans and allowances. However we are still encouraging students to apply early if they are able, to avoid any delays if things do go wrong next year."
"After two years of massive problems with DWI, students are still very hesitant about the Department's ability to deliver. However changes that the Department are making, and the security of money from the government to fund these changes, is a positive sign for next year," said Sam Huggard.