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Princes Street Welcomes Labour’s Commitment

Fri, 28 May 2004

Princes Street Welcomes Labour’s Commitment to Tertiary Students

“Students are one of the big beneficiaries from this years budget.” Said Conor Roberts, the chair of Auckland University’s Princes Street Branch of the Labour Party.

Mr Roberts said “Princes Street Labour has worked behind the scenes lobbying for better access to the allowance scheme for a long time now and the movement we have seen is most pleasing. The increase in access to student allowances is going to alleviate the debt burden on many students.”

“A large part of the problem with the student loan scheme is the fact that many students have had to borrow in order to live and the recognition of this by the government is heartening. The fact that half of all students now have access to the allowance scheme, with 12000 extra students receiving a full student allowance, and around 24 000 who previously received nothing getting a partial allowance, shows Labour’s commitment to students.”

The Labour government has also linked the allowance scheme to inflation and rises in the consumer price index, something which hasn’t happened since the scheme was introduced and which Mr Roberts said was “most welcome and only fair.”

The one thing that was of concern in the budget is the negative response to the Future Directions package, which Mr Roberts labeled “Unfortunate but entirely predictable.”

“The focusing of money on working families is entirely appropriate as it channels money to a group within society that need it most. Across the board tax cuts don’t do this as they are too blunt an instrument and only result in the under-investment in education, health and infrastructure such as we saw the last time National delivered the budgets.”

“This package, which targets those groups within society that are most deserving of help, shows that this government is focused on the needs of lower and middle New Zealand. It presents New Zealand with a stark choice, a Labour government which looks after the citizens of New Zealand or a National administration that would leave people to fend for themselves and to hell with the consequences.”


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