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Review unfair 25 year age test for allowances

14 March 2006

Review unfair 25 year age test for allowances

The New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA) will be appearing today in front of the Regulations Review Select Committee at 3:30pm to argue that changes to the student allowance regulations have breached parliamentary standing orders.

Last years changes to the allowance regulations removed the independent circumstances allowance for working and married students because of 'discrimination'. "This simply compounded another existing form of discrimination by testing students eligibility for a student allowance on their parents income until they turn 25" said Joey Randall, Co-president of NZUSA.

"It's hypocritical to justify getting rid of one form of discrimination while entrenching another"

"Right now the student allowance scheme says that all students are dependent on their parents until they turn 25, we know this is not the case as our research shows that only 28% of students receive any financial support from their parents"

"Only one third of students currently receive a student allowance and the numbers getting one have decreased since the policy change. We will be asking the select committee to review the regulations because it is not fair that adults over the age of 18 are tested on their parent's income to see whether they can get help while they study"

"Students feel that the government shouldn't be using the Bill of Rights to remove existing entitlements because of 'discrimination' and cement in another form of age discrimination. A living allowance for all students would remove the age discrimination students currently face when trying to access student allowances" said Conor Roberts, Co-President of NZUSA.

"Students are the only group in society to whom this unfair test applies and that is why we will be heading to the select committee" Mr Roberts concluded.

Note: NZUSA will be arguing that the changes to the regulations are not in accordance with Standing Order 378(2): (a), (b) & (c)

ENDS

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