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What’s 2 pies a week? A bad joke!

THE AUCKLAND UNI ERSITY STUDENTS' ASSOCIATION (INC.) TE ROOPU TAUIRA O TE WHARE WAANANGA O TAMAKI MAKAURAU 4 Alfred S , Auckland

Telephone: 309 0789, Fax: 306 6580 Email: ausa.presiden @auckland.ac.nz www.ausa.auckland.ac.nz

Media Release - 22 May 2008 - For Immediate Use

What’s 2 pies a week? A bad joke!

Students consider some of the Budget’s changes for tertiary students a bad joke. Auckland students, and their families young and old, are disappointed the Government has failed to show real leadership to address mounting student debt, which hit $10 billion this year.

“This Budget does little to address the real causes of debt, and even less to address the symptoms of debt,” says AUSA President David Do. One of the announced changes for student support was increasing the student loan living cost borrowing component from $150 per week to $155 per week from 1 January 2009.

“This $5 increase as a bad joke – that’s equal to 2 pies a week. This essentially does nothing for students who are struggling right now to make ends meet while balancing full time study and long hours of part time work. It is a tokenistic insult to students who are forced to borrow to live because they are under 25 and their parents are deemed ‘too rich’,” Do says.

“The money spent on increasing the borrowing entitlement would have been far better allocated to increasing access to student allowances in a meaningful way,” says Do. AUSA is particularly disappointed at the lack of action on removing unfair parental means testing on student allowances.

“The current age of parental means testing of 25 was set 17 years ago, an arbitrary and unrealistic age. The Government should explain why 24 is fundamentally any less arbitrary and unrealistic,” says AUSA Education Vice President Sophia Blair. AUSA believes this Budget fails to truly address the pressures on students today, nor the needs of our future graduates tomorrow.

ENDS

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