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Nationwide poll: student allowances a priority

Nationwide poll considers student allowances a priority

A recent Colmar Brunton nationwide poll has revealed strong public support for student allowances. The poll of 700 New Zealanders found that 74% believe more students should receive a living allowance.

“This poll is a clear vote of confidence from New Zealanders for immediate increased support for students in tertiary study,” said Camilla Belich, Co-President of the New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA).

“It is blatantly unfair that students continue to be the only sector of society forced into debt in order to eat and pay the rent,” said Belich.

40% of all student loan debt is due to borrowing to cover basic living costs, such as food, bills and accommodation.

An NZUSA pledge, asking political parties to commit to increasing student allowance eligibility, has been signed by six of the main political parties. Only National and ACT have refused to commit to increasing support for students.

“It is clear that the vast majority of New Zealanders think the current situation is unacceptable. It is pleasing that some parties have committed to improving the situation, but disappointing that others have not, including National and Act,” said Andrew Kirton, Co-President of NZUSA.

“Increasing access to allowances would strike a significant blow to the monster that is growing student loan debt,” said Kirton.

The poll had a margin of error of 4.4%. A full copy of the poll result is available upon request.


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