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Petition On Universal Student Allowances Launched

Parliamentary Petition On Universal Student Allowances Launched

Today, e is for activists launched a nationwide parliamentary petition calling on the goverment to restore a universal student allowance. We believe that parental means testing of allowances is an arbitary and poorly founded policy. If the means testing worked, there would be no need for the living costs component of a student loan.

The petition 'respectfuly requests that the new goverment restore a universal student allowance, paid at the level of the community wage'.

e is for Activists' is co-ordinating the petition with the support of many other groups around the country. These groups are based in Auckland, Wellington, Waikato, New Plymouth, Nelson and Christchurch. This list is growing by the day.

'e is for Activists' was formed out of the group that organised the occupations of the Canterbury University registry last year. This year we are one of the biggest clubs on campus, with a contact list of over 550 students. We aim to push for universal allowances, lower fees, debt reduction and competant administration of student services. We will hold both university management and the Government responsible for addressing these issues.

We believe that a universal student allowance would allow students to concentrate on their studies. In the present system, many students are forced to work long hours in order to support themselves. It is their education that suffers. We are also concerned that the current five year limit on eligibility for a student allowance can discourage valuable postgraduate work.

'e is for activists' spokesperson Joe Hendren said "Students should be able to feed, clothe and house themselves without the prospect of lifelong debt. No other sector of society is forced into debt by the very instutitions that should be concerned for their welfare".

"This petition gives New Zealanders the chance to address this inequity, an inequity which has been ignored for too long"

************************* 'e is for activists' can be contacted on (021) 2503195 or through the University of Canterbury Student Association (UCSA). *************************

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