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Budget improvements won’t tackle student debt

Budget improvements won’t tackle the student debt monster

The minor changes to the student allowances scheme announced today in the budget will do little to address the $7 billion dollars of student debt.

“Students will welcome the small improvements to the way that student allowances are administered but they will do little to solve the current student debt crisis,” said Camilla Belich, Co-President of the New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA).

“Most of the changes are simply clearing up anomalies and should have been changed years ago,” Belich said.

The changes announced in the Budget include:

· Raising the Trainee Intern Grant for final year medical students by $10,000

· Raising the amount of money that students are able to earn while keeping their access to a student allowance from $135 per week to $180

· A higher level for allowances eligibility (by $3,400) for those students under 25 with separated parents

· Reducing the parental income level for allowances eligibility by $7,000 per additional child in tertiary education

“This Labour-Progressive Government had an opportunity to start to address the real student debt issues students, graduates and their families are facing regrading student debt, instead they chose to do the bare minimum,” said Andrew Kirton, Co-President of NZUSA.

“The best thing students will get out of this Budget is the heat it will provide from throwing it on the fire while they study for their up-coming exams,” Kirton said.

Ends

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