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Government Guilty Of Age Discrimination

July 13, 2004

Government Guilty Of Age Discrimination Says New Zealand First

“Draconian measures in this years’ budget relating to student loans means that this government’s idea of equity is to be unfair to all,” claims New Zealand First education spokesperson Brian Donnelly.

“Up until now students who were married or who had been in paid employment for two years were not tied to their parents’ incomes in the assessment of eligibility for student allowances.

“In a bizarre twist, the Government claims that this is a breach of the Human Rights Act because it treats a married person differently from an unmarried one or a person in recent employment differently from the unemployed.

“The irony is that the whole policy is based on age discrimination – a 24 year old is treated differently from a 25 year old.

“Children of parents who are asset rich but are able to organise their financial affairs in certain ways can gain student allowances, whilst those with working parents cannot.

“The only sensible solution is to provide a universal student living allowance, a policy provision which will not only see student debt reduced significantly but will also eliminate these unjust anomalies,” said Mr Donnelly.

ENDS

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