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Labour must increase access to Student Allowances

2 May 2005

Labour must increase access to Student Allowances after numbers nose-dive

Students are today calling on the government to immediately increase access to Student Allowances to the level promised in the 2004 Budget, after new information has found a 23% decrease in the uptake of allowances since 2001.

“The government must act immediately to deliver on its promise of 36,000 more student allowances in 2005, before even more students miss out,” said Andrew Kirton, Co-President of the New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA).

Figures published by the Aotearoa Student Press Association (ASPA) found that only 40,434 students have received an allowance in the first quarter of this year, compared with 52,465 students in 2001.

“Thousands of students who should have received a Student Allowance in 2005 have been forced to borrow from the Student Loan Scheme just to get by. This is simply not good enough,” said Kirton.

“At the moment if you earn over $108 after tax in part-time work you will lose your entitlement to your Student Allowance. This amount is far too low and needs to be raised to reflect the actual cost of living for students, said Camilla Belich, Co-President of NZUSA.

“We would also encourage the Government to simply introduce a living allowance for all students so that everyone is clear on what they are entitled to,” said Belich.

ENDS


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