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Betrayed Students To Picket Over Summer Benefit

Betrayed Students To Picket Prime Minister Over Summer Benefit

Student and activist groups in three cities are to protest over a recent
decision by the Labour and Alliance parties to vote down a private members
bill that would have granted all students access to the Emergency
Unemployment Benefit over summer.

In an unprecedented move, students will picket the Prime Minister Helen
Clark as she delivers a lecture in Auckland today, at the Maidment Theatre
at 12:30. This Friday Waikato students will hold an "SOS - Summer of
Starvation" protest with a soup kitchen in Garden Place. A further action
is being planned in Dunedin for early next week.

In 1998 the National party restricted access to the Emergency Unemployment
Benefit to only those students who were eligible to receive an allowance
during the academic term time. This resulted in foodbanks being set up at
a number of student associations.

"We want to send a clear message to the Prime Minister that this issue
will not go away, it is not acceptable for the government to deny students
a safety net that all other groups in society have."

"Students are outraged at the complete turnaround from two parties who
were so strongly opposed to National's decision in 1998. Many students
voted for Labour and the Alliance so that they would deliver a fairer
system of tertiary fees, loans and allowances, and are now feeling
betrayed," said Sam Huggard, NZUSA Co President.

"We will be keeping up the pressure on the government on this issue.
Students will not accept Labour's flimsy excuses that the Emergency
Unemployment Benefit is unaffordable", said Sam Huggard.

For further comment:

Sam Huggard

NZUSA Co President

025 86 86 73

04 498 2500 (work)


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