Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Students Want What MPs Give (only) to Themselves

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Students Want What MPs Give (only) to Themselves.

1 July 2014

Press Release: New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations

In the light of massive increases in the housing perk that was announced for Members of Parliament last week, students are calling attention to the fact that the support that many students get for housing costs has not increased in ten years.

The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations is calling for the lifting of the restriction which has prevented the support students can get from keeping pace with rising housing costs.

A student allowance includes an element for help with rent, but it is calculated on a different basis than all other low income New Zealanders – and considerably different from what MPs are entitled to. Housing support for students is capped at a maximum of $40 per week, a cap introduced in 2001. The Accommodation Supplement – that all low income New Zealanders who are not students are entitled to – provides support of up to $145 per week if you live in certain parts of Auckland, and $100 per week if you live in other expensive locations such as Wellington or Hamilton.

Support for students with housing costs is set at 50% of average rental costs in a particular location above $40 per week, with a maximum payment of $40. This has been in place since 2001. This cap was hit in 2003 in Auckland and in 2005 in Wellington. In Christchurch the cap was hit in 2008 and while rents have rocketed since the earthquake – and are now significantly above the national average – support has been stuck at a level of increasing insignificance.

“It’s all very well for Steven Joyce to claim, as he does, that the Student Support System in New Zealand is ‘about right’ but this glaring failure to keep pace with rising costs means that students getting allowances, who by definition cannot get support from their parents, simply cannot afford to study. In Wellington and Auckland in particular, the total student support available – the allowance plus the accommodation benefit – is less than the average rent”, said Daniel Haines, NZUSA President.

“The fact is, every other low-income New Zealander – plus MPs – qualifies for rent assistance based on the cost of their rent, but students don’t”, said Haines.

“Students deserve a rate of support that increases as their costs increase. MPs get increases themselves, and they should give increases to us. At the very least, the cap on the support for rent costs needs to be adjusted upwards to reflect the reality of increasing rents.”

NZUSA’s research is based on comparing WINZ data of accommodation benefit for selected residential areas with the rent per room of a three-bedroom house in an area of town that students live in, using Department of Building and Housing (now part of MBIE) data, as reported on a quarterly basis.

Information on Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch can be available at: http://bit.ly/mpsgivetothemselves. Data on other regions also available.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Eddie Izzard: UK Comedy Legend Returns

Hailed as one of the foremost stand up comedians of his generation. Star of stage and screen. Tireless supporter of charity. Runner. Political campaigner. Fashion Icon... February 2015, Eddie Izzard will bring his massive FORCE MAJEURE world tour to New Zealand with tickets going on sale at 10am on Tuesday 28th October. More>>

Festival Starts 28 Oct: Improv Fest Makes Up New Show

For any other festival, finding out less than two weeks from showtime that half the cast of a programmed show can’t make it to New Zealand would be a nightmare. Instead, the New Zealand Improv Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan saw an opportunity ... More>>

NZ Music Awards Finalists: Lorde, Sol3 Mio Top 2014 Tuis Charge

Lorde has taken the music world by storm during the past year and she co-leads the 2014 Tui charge with five finalist spots. Joining her is newcomer family opera trio, Sol3 Mio. They are followed closely by Ladi6 and David Dallas, both up for four awards each. More>>

From 'Luther' Creator: Major New Zealand Crime Series For BBC

Libertine Pictures and writer Neil Cross have teamed up with leading international TV producer Carnival Films to develop a major new crime series set in Rotorua. Libertine will develop the contemporary drama series with Carnival, producer of internationally-acclaimed British period drama Downton Abbey, for the BBC. More>>

ALSO:

Family Statement: Death Of Ewen Gilmour

“Ewen was a much loved and cherished member of our family, he was a larger than life character and by his very nature was kind, generous and always giving of his time to those who asked for his help." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - Line-Up Announced

Traversing seven cities and three countries, the festival has well and truly settled into its home in each state. From the grassy knolls and towering silos at home in Auckland, to the sparkling backdrop of the Maribyrnong... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news