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Students worried at possible future wage cuts


Media Release – 21 February 2008 – For Immediate Use

Students worried at possible future wage cuts

Auckland students are worried at the reported remarks of National leader John Key stating that he would “love to see wages drop.” AUSA calls on John Key to clarify his remarks regarding wages.

“Any drop in wages would inevitably hurt the only group in society that is forced to borrow to live,” says David Do, AUSA President.

“Balancing part-time work, full-time study, and having enough money to live on is a continuous weekly struggle for many of the students we see. Any drop in wages would make their living situations untenable,” he says.

Students are amongst the poorest groups in society. The 2007 Income and Expenditure Survey found that 78% of full-time students earn less than $10,000 a year, and furthermore that income earned by students in 2007 has decreased on average by $3,110 since 2004.

Research also shows that students are increasingly turning to private debt to cover living expenses despite working long hours during study, with a significant increase since 2004 in the proportion of students with bank overdrafts and credit cards.

“When John Key’s reported remarks regarding removing fee caps at an AUT breakfast emerged late last year, Mr Key quickly denied them. He clarified that National would not remove the fee maxima system if elected into government,” says Sophia Blair, AUSA Education Vice President.

“We call on John Key to similarly clarify his remarks regarding wages.”


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