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Labour Promise on Student Allowances Still Short

Tue, 2 Jul 2002

Labour Promise on Student Allowances Still Short of Real Substance

The Aotearoa Tertiary Students' Association (ATSA) is pleased to see Labour's commitment to increasing eligibility to Student Allowances by raising the parental income thresholds, as announced in its Education Policy today. "Although positive, these proposed changes still fall short of what students and their families need." Julie Pettett, ATSA President Julie Pettett stated today.

ATSA advocates an open and accessible education system, and a Universal Allowance is the best way to support all students. "In 1992, over half of all students were eligible for an allowance. Now, less than one third have access." said Julie Pettett, President of ATSA. "It is good to see Labour advocating a move back to equity, but they need to consider more than parental income levels if they have any real commitment to help students."

Another effective step ATSA would like to see delivered by the next Government is the removal of arbitrary age restrictions, embedded in the Student Allowance regulations, which define 25 year old students as dependents on their parents. "The reason for this arbitrary age-ruling has never been about equity, and always about cost-cutting." Pettett said. "Of all New Zealanders, students are the only group who are regarded as dependents until they are 25. This is discrimination - justice demands that this age-ruling be abolished."

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