Labour Committed To Making Students Starve
The Labour Party is coming under increasing pressure to adequately deal with the issue of student poverty over summer, after a parliamentary question today from the National Party querying Labour’s previously stated commitment to the Emergency Unemployment Benefit (EUB) for students.
“Labour is fast becoming the black sheep in Parliament over the EUB issue,” said New Zealand University Students’ Association Co-President Andrew Campbell. “Currently the Alliance, the Greens and New Zealand First support the reinstatement of the EUB, and now even National is starting to question the issue. Labour is in serious danger of losing its remaining credibility with students,” said Campbell.
“The Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary), Steve Maharey, told the House today that Labour’s priority is to create jobs for students over summer. Students support that initiative, however as the Minister knows there is not full employment and some students will invariably fall through the gaps. It is now evident that Labour is quite happy not to support those students who cannot find work,” said Campbell.
The NZUSA is currently running a national campaign calling for the reinstatement of the EUB in the upcoming government budget. Students’ Associations around the country are currently collecting signatures for a parliamentary petition and students are sending postcards to the Minister’s office demanding the EUB’s reinstatement.
“This issue is simply one of basic human rights. If someone cannot find a job a decent society should have some form of financial back up to assist them. Why is it that Labour sees students in such a different light that they do not extend that philosophy to cover them?” said Campbell.
“Labour is currently showing no commitment to its student constituency. It is bizarre that a supposed left wing government is so reluctant to provide for students a basic tenet of the welfare system, provision of financial support to those that are unemployed”, said Campbell.
Andrew Campbell, NZUSA Co-President Sam Huggard, NZUSA Co-President
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