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Kiwis get richer, students get poorer

Kiwis get richer, students get poorer.

“The Social Report 2003, released by the Ministry of Social Development, paints a rosy picture for most New Zealanders yet students are still the only group in society that must borrow to meet their costs of living.” Says Lincoln University Students’ Association president Andrew Kirton.

The Government has boasted that the improvements in average income, life expectancy and suicide rates are due to their “efforts in a number of key areas”, yet students are still waiting for the government to put some effort into their plight.

“Fewer and fewer students are eligible for living assistance from the student allowance scheme because the parental income threshold is still only $50,752 combined.” Kirton said. As a result, only approximately 1/3 of students are eligible for the student allowance.

“The income threshold is not adjusted for inflation, so actually decreases in real terms every year, meaning at the end of the day fewer students will get an allowance.” Kirton said. The average income (as announced in the report) was $27,095. Each parent would only need to earn an average of $25,376 to be over the threshold.

“One way Steve Maharey could improve the lives of a large group of New Zealanders is to get rid of the secondary income tax rate for students who must work two jobs just to pay their way through study.” Kirton Said

“It just makes me sick how the government is so eager to support unemployed people but still will not assist people who are actually educating themselves and will be able to make a significant contribution to the nation than someone sitting at home on a benefit.” Said Andrew Kirton.

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