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Data Match for Student Allowances

14 June 2005

Media release

For immediate release

Data Match for Student Allowances

The Ministry of Social Development launched its student allowance data match programme this month.

The Ministry operates data match programmes with a range of government departments to combat benefit fraud. These include Customs, Inland Revenue, ACC and Housing New Zealand Corporation.

The Ministry has run its first data match of student allowance information against employment information. Studylink staff have been visiting student associations and education providers over the past few months to advise them of the purpose of the data match programme and the action students need to take.

Students identified as positive matches will receive letters from the Ministry together with a flyer providing details of the programme and how it works. Students receiving these letters will be required to provide details of the income.

Students can currently earn up to $135.13 gross per week before their allowance is affected. Budget changes increase this figure to $180 per week from 1 January 2006.

For students who receive the earning spouse rate allowance, the combined income threshold for couples is currently $270.26 per week before tax increasing to $360 per week from 1 January 2006.

MSD has recruited and trained additional staff to work on the data match programme which aims to ensure that the allowance is only paid out to students who are entitled to receive it.

ENDS

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