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Students invoice Mallard over bungled allowances

4 May 2005

Students invoice Mallard over bungled allowances promise

The New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA) has today invoiced the Government for 10 weeks worth of living costs on behalf of the 36,000 students who should have received an allowance this year but didn't.

"The Government promised in the Budget last year that 36,000 more students would receive an allowance in 2005, and instead there have been 3000 fewer," said Andrew Kirton, Co-President of the New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA).

Green MP Nandor Tanczos attempted to table an invoice totalling $54 million during questions time today at parliament on behalf of students.

"We are invoicing the Government because as a result of this bungle, students who should have received an allowance have been forced to borrow from the loan scheme just to pay for their rent and groceries," said Kirton.

Figures released on Monday found that only 40,434 students have received an allowance in the first quarter of this year, compared with 52,465 students in 2001.

"Trevor Mallard must act at once to deliver on his promise of 36,000 more student allowances in 2005. The Government must have saved millions from this debacle and this money should go to students," said Camilla Belich, Co-President of NZUSA.

"This fiasco proves that the only efficient, clear and equitable way of administering student allowances is to provide a living allowance for all students," said Belich.

ENDS

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