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Students Protest Lack Of Summer Benefit

After surviving three summers without the Emergency Unemployment Benefit Otago students will be taking their demands to the public tomorrow with a rally on campus, as part of a National Day of Action.

“Students will be asking the question ‘why does every other New Zealander have the right to a basic income throughout the year?’ They will be asking ‘why not me?’” said Otago University Students’ Association President Ayesha Verrall.

“Every summer students are being forced to draw on foodbanks, further debt and even prostitution to survive. Students are in the position because the government expects them to exist without an income,” said Ms Verrall

“Otago students are challenging Mr Maharey to explain why every other unemployed New is assisted in their plight but students are not,” said Ms Verrall.

“Having called the removal of the benefit a ‘mean-spirited attack on students’ we feel that it is shameful now for him not to reinstate it in the 2001 budget,” stated Ms Verrall.

OUSA has organized the rally in conjunction with a petition and postcard campaign targeting the government, to address what it sees as real poverty amongst students over the summer months. Students will be rallying tomorrow at 1 p.m. on the Union Lawn (Wednesday).


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