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

 

Pictures Of Media: Call For Photographs For Reimagining Journalism

In August this year Freerange Press is launching its next big book. This time we are gathering the best writers and thinkers in the country to look at the changing media landscape in New Zealand. To illuminate and give voice to the writing we want to include around 25 excellent photos. We want these photos to document the different aspects of how journalism is made, how it used to be, and how it is changing. More>>

Safer Internet Day: Keeping Safe Online More Important Than Ever

Tuesday 9 February marks Safer Internet Day. Safer Internet Day is designed to create awareness about the importance of Internet safety and encourages positive use of technology - with a strong focus on young people. More>>

ALSO:

We Have The Technology: Zephyrometer Up And Moving

“The needle’s stoppers had to be repaired because of the extra impact caused by the balance not being correct. We also added an extra 300kgs counter-balance – made from zinc coated steel triangle plates. These adjustments will now stop it bending low over the road in high winds.” More>>

ALSO:

Waitangi Day: Treaty Of Waitangi - Found In Translation

To celebrate the Society of Translators and Interpreters's 30th anniversary, over 90 translators will work together to translate the English and Māori versions of the Treaty of Waitangi into 30 languages... More>>

ALSO:

Northland Development: Trust Applauds $4m Government Funding For Art Centre

Today's announcement of central government support, made by Minister of Economic Development Steven Joyce, provides a key step forward in funding for Whangarei’s Hundertwasser Art Centre & Wairau Maori Art Gallery. More>>

ALSO:

Memorial: 85th Anniversary Of 1931 Napier Earthquake

Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye will today attend the 85th anniversary afternoon tea for survivors of the 1931 Napier earthquake, to pay tribute to the heroism, kindness and generosity shown by many during this and more recent emergencies. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news