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Universal Allowances Crucial for Dunedin

Petition for Universal Allowances Crucial for Dunedin

A national petition for universal student allowances, being launched tomorrow, is key to the future of Otago as a region heavily reliant on students for its livelihood, according to Otago students.

“An allowance for all full time students can only be good for the city of Dunedin. Not only are students more likely to come here if they don’t have to take out large student loans, they are also more likely to stay here after they graduate if they don’t have such a large burden of debt hanging around their necks.” said Otago University Students Association Campaign Coordinator Kyle Matthews.

As well as calling for a universal student allowance, the petition also calls upon the government to adjust the parental income limit for inflation, which has not been done since 1992. If this had been done the amount at which students no longer received an allowance would be ten thousand dollars higher than the current fifty thousand dollars. Since 1992 the number of full time students receiving an allowance has fallen from 43.8% to 33%.

“Every year the government adjusts benefits and various thresholds for inflation. The exception to this rule is the parental income limit for means testing of student allowances. As a result, less students are getting supported in their studies. Surely the social and economic benefits of educating a young people are worth making this investment?” said Otago Polytechnic Students Association Vice-President Michelle Watt.

Contact Kyle Matthews 03-4795338 (w) 03-4675797 (h) 021-1130236
Michelle Watt 03-4776974 021-1121789

Attached: Petition wording.
Students will be collecting petition signatures at 12 noon today at the Polytechnic Students Centre, and 1pm at the University Union.

New Zealand University Students Association Universal Allowances Petition

“We, the undersigned, recognize that the current system of student allowances discriminates against those under the age of 25, and forces students into excessive debt for their education. We therefore call upon the government to:
1. Immediately adjust the allowances parental income limit for inflation since 1992;
2. Institute a system of universal student allowances and;
3. Set the level of the universal student allowance equal to that of the unemployment benefit.”

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