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Budget Gains for Young People Welcomed

Budget Gains for Young People Welcomed

"A budget that delivers for young New Zealanders," is how Young Labour President Michael Wood describes today's Budget.

"A key announcement today is the big improvement in access to Student Allowances. This was a key pledge in Labour's 2002 manifesto, and we are pleased it has been delivered. 12 000 extra students will now receive a full student allowance, and around 24 000 who previously received nothing will get a partial allowance," Michael Wood said.

"Of course, this is just one step towards the universal student allowance system Young Labour supports and advocates for - but it is a significant move in the right direction."

"50% of students will now get some form of allowance. Combined with new funding to ensure that fees do not rise steeply, this shows a clear commitment to improving life for students under Labour.

"We are also pleased with the announcements in the Working for Families package. Young families with children need to be able to get ahead: they need to know that work will pay, and that they will be able to provide a better life for their kids and themselves. Real money in the pocket will deliver that."

"Labour's proposals are far better than tax cuts could ever be. Support is being delivered to the people who need it most, not to high income earners who are already enjoying a decent lifestyle.

"Young Labour also welcomes the improvements being made to industry training, and particularly the announcement of 500 new places in the popular Modern Apprenticeships Programme - to a total of 8000 by June 2006.

"This budget provides a very stark choice. Labour supports families and young people; National supports putting money into the pockets of those who already have the most - rich old white men like Don Brash," Michael Woods concludes.

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