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Budget surplus confirms: no more excuses

Friday 26th September 2003

Budget surplus confirms: no more excuses for Maharey.

“The recent announcement of an extra $1.5 billion dollars Budget surplus over and above a forecast $4.1b means there is now absolutely no excuse for not implementing a universal student allowance scheme.” Says Lincoln University Students’ Association president Andrew Kirton.

A universal student allowance equivalent to the unemployment benefit would cost approximately $1 billion dollars annually, according to the government’s recent Student Support Review document.

Steve Maharey, Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education) has recently told students that the policy is unaffordable.

“Maharey continues to patronise students with hollow promises and feeble excuses, while behind the scenes treasury is accumulating these huge piles of cash – where are their priorities?” Kirton said.

The unexpected and additional $1.5b surplus alone could have financed an allowance for every tertiary student this year. Currently only 1/3 of students receive some sort of allowance.

“I think the facts are getting harder for the Minister to ignore: only 1/3 of students receive an allowance, students are still the only group in society that must borrow to meet their cost of living and student debt continues to grow at over $40,000 every hour. Students are angry and want action now.” Kirton said.


~Ends~

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