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Nation-Wide Student Fight For EUB

Pressure is mounting on the Government to reinstate the Emergency Unemployment Benefit (EUB) for students over the summer holiday period on the eve of the New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) national day of action.

Tomorrow (March 14) sees students associations around the country staging demonstrations and protests against the government’s inaction on the EUB, which students want to be included in the upcoming government budget. The EUB was cut by the National government in 1998, and was criticised at the time by the Labour Party as a “mean spirited attack on students”.

“Since the removal of the EUB students have been placed in unnecessary hardship. Student associations should not be forced to run food banks due to ill conceived government policy,” said NZUSA Co President Andrew Campbell.

“Labour has pledged in the past to restore the EUB and it is a key policy of the Alliance Party. The Greens and NZ First both support it. It is time for the government to act,” said Campbell.

“Tomorrow’s demonstrations will show that this government cannot count on the endless good will of students. For Labour to retain a student friendly image it should reconsider its treatment of them when they are unemployed,” said Campbell.

When the EUB was cut students became the only sector of society ineligible for any form of financial assistance when unemployed. “Labour know it’s wrong, they’ve said it’s wrong – now they have to put their money where their mouth is,” said Campbell.

“We want answers from Steve Maharey. Will the EUB be in this year’s budget, and if not why not? We want to debate this issue with the Minister and have him explain to students why he thinks they should live on no income over summer”.

See accompanying page for details of protest action around the country tomorrow

For further information
Andrew Campbell, NZUSA Co-President Sam Huggard, NZUSA Co-President
Cell: 025 86 86 77 Cell: 025 86 86 73

Campus activity tomorrow:

Waikato Students Union – EUB lunchtime cardboard city, speeches and ‘soup kitchen’
Contact – Chris Rudd - (07) 856 9139

Massey University Students Association – on campus rally
Contact – Huia Welton - 025 491 346

Victoria University of Wellington Students Association – march to Parliament
Contact – Chris Hipkins - 021 707 927

Lincoln University Students Association and Christchurch College of Education Students Association – campus cardboard city and soup kitchen today.
Contact – Charlie Chambers – 021 129 0560

Otago University Students Association – march to Octagon for rally and soup kitchen
Contact – Ayehsa Verrall – 021 345 368

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