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Next Step Towards Universal Student Allowances

29 July 2002

Voters Approve The Next Step Towards Universal Student Allowances

New Zealanders have given the next government a clear directive to improve access to student allowances, the Aotearoa Students' Association (ATSA) announced today. The association's president, Julie Pettett, stated today that all parties who would play a part in installing a Labour-led government promised to liberalise access to student allowances.

"Labour's pre-election assurance to students that parental income thresholds would be liberalised was too vague on detail," ATSA's president, Julie Pettett stated today. "Now that the votes are in, we expect some real change in the arbitrary regime which currently excludes more than two thirds of students from access to allowances."

Both the Greens and United Future offered Universal Student Allowances in the run up to the election, while the Progressive Coalition's approach was to aim for a progressive introduction through a gradual lifting of parental income thresholds. "Students expect that all parties will negotiate in good faith over the coming days," Pettett stated. "In return for either formal coalition arrangements, or confidence and supply support, we trust that no parties will deny the right of students to a substantial relaxation of parental threshold levels."

"Last Saturday, voters approved real movement towards the introduction of a Universal Student Allowance," Pettett concluded. "It is now up to the next government to deliver what the electorate demands."

ENDS

For further comment, contact:
Julie Pettett, ATSA National President
Tel: (04) 9391417 or 029 939 1417

The Aotearoa Tertiary Students' Association - Representing University,
Polytechnic and Wananga students

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