Govt. Promises Hot Summer For Poor Students
Following the Green Party's question to Steve Maharey (Associate Tertiary Education Minister & Welfare Minister) today, OUSA continued its condemnation of the Government for voting against a bill that would have reinstated the Emergency Unemployment Benefit (EUB) to students over the Christmas holiday period.
In Opposition Steve Maharey spoke strongly against the denial of EUB to students, stating it was "placing at risk their education" and a "mean-spirited attack on students". However Mr Maharey voted with National (whom these criticisms were directed at) to continue the denial of the EUB to students this summer.
Today Steve Maharey spoke to Otago student leaders informing them that he was going to put emphasis in providing students with jobs through Student Job Search (SJS), and that he had instructed Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) to treat students in hardship favourably. "The Government should be preventing students from entering hardship, rather than treating them favourably." said Andrew Campbell, OUSA President.
Ruth Dyson (Associate Welfare Minister) informed Parliament of an increase to SJS funding by $3.055 million over four years, which is a cut in comparison to the $17 million per year for the EUB. "This is an obvious funding shortfall which will leave students out of pocket and hungry." said Mr Campbell.
Ruth Dyson also informed Parliament that there were other entitlements available to students who are unable to find work. "These entitlements are very difficult to get, and are at the discretion of WINZ staff, they do not change the fact that many students will go hungry this Christmas" said Vijay Nellailingam, OUSA Campaigns Coordinator.
For further information:
Andrew Campbell Vijay Nellailingam & Katie Grace OUSA President OUSA Campaigns Coordinators Ph 03 479 5333 (w) Ph 03 479 5332 (w) Or 021 345 368 (cell)