Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Cost of universal allowances lower than reported

Cost of universal allowances much lower than reported

Ministry of Education documents sourced under the Official Information Act by the New Zealand Union of Students' Associations (NZUSA) reveal that the cost of a universal student allowance is significantly lower than figures cited recently in some media.

"Since Labour's interest in a universal student allowance became public, there has been much confusion regarding the cost of this policy. The public deserve to know that the costs are actually rather modest, while the benefits are immense", said Paul Falloon, Co-President of the New Zealand Union of Students' Associations.

"Various media reports have put the total cost of providing fulltime domestic students with a living allowance at $728 million per year. However, a Ministry of Education paper obtained by NZUSA estimates the actual net extra cost of the policy to be significantly less, at an average of just $182 million per year, or $728 million over four years", said Falloon.

"The document also reveals that the policy will result in a $33 million reduction in operating expenditure over the same period, as some existing costs of the current student loan scheme are removed and total borrowing declines, providing significant social and financial benefit for both individuals and the economy", added Falloon.

Ministry of Education statistics show numbers receiving allowances dropped every year between 2001 and 2005 and that government expenditure on allowances remains less today than in 2001. Only a third of students currently receive any form of allowance while studying, with the average weekly payment a mere $70. A 2007 study by TNS Conversa revealed average living costs faced by students are now $300 a week, while average student debt has risen 54% since 2004 and is now a whopping $28,838.

"Lack of allowances is the key contributor to high student debt, as students are forced to borrow to meet basic living costs. New Zealand loses millions of dollars a year through the loss of skilled graduates pushed overseas by these unmanageable debts hampering their future. $182 million a year to support the living costs of students is a bargain in return for the benefits this initiative would have for the country", concluded Falloon.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election