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

 


Students Suffer As Support Fails to Keep Pace

Students Suffer As Support Fails to Keep Pace With Rent Increases.

12 May 2014

Press Release: New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations

Students are suffering as the support they are entitled to for help with housing costs fails to keep pace with skyrocketing rents, according to research released today by the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA).

NZUSA is calling for the lifting of the restriction that limits the support students can get to keep pace with rising housing costs.

A student allowance includes an element for help with rent, but on a different basis than all other low income New Zealanders. However, housing support for students is capped at a maximum of $40 per week, and has been since 2001. In contrast, the Accommodation Supplement – that everyone who is not a student is entitled to – provides support of up to $145 per week if you live in certain parts of Auckland, and $100 per week if you live in other expensive places such as Wellington or Hamilton.

The accommodation benefit for students is set at 50% of average rental costs in a particular location above $40 per week, with a maximum payment of $40. This has been in place since 2001. This cap was hit in 2003 in Auckland, in 2005 in Wellington and in New Plymouth in 2009. Even in relatively low-cost Dunedin, where rents are below the national average, the cap means that rents have increased but support has not since 2012. In Christchurch the cap was hit in 2008 and as rents have rocketed since the earthquake – now significantly above the national average – support has been stuck at a level of increasing insignificance.

“It’s all very well for Steven Joyce to claim, as he does, that the Student Support System in New Zealand is ‘about right’ but this glaring failure to keep pace with rising costs means that students getting allowances, who by definition cannot get support from their parents, simply cannot afford to study. In Wellington and Auckland in particular, the total student support available – the allowance plus the accommodation benefit – is less than the average rent”, said Daniel Haines, NZUSA President.

“The fact is, every other low-income New Zealander qualifies for rent assistance based on the cost of their rent, students don’t. Where’s the incentive to move from a benefit into study, or from a low-paid job into having a qualification that could potentially move someone out of poverty, if that choice is completely unaffordable”, said Haines.

“Students deserve the same rate of support as everyone else. We should have access to the Accommodation Supplement. At the very least, the cap on the support for rent costs needs to be adjusted upwards to reflect the reality of increasing rents.”


NZUSA’s research is based on comparing WINZ data of accommodation benefit for selected residential areas with the rent per room of a three-bedroom house in an area of town that students live in, using Department of Building and Housing (now part of MBIE) data, as reported on a quarterly basis.
Data on other regions also available.
ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Cunliffe’s Last Stand

Right now, embattled Labour leader David Cunliffe has three options. None of them are particularly attractive for him personally, or for the Labour Party.

In scenario one, Cunliffe could resign immediately and trigger a leadership vote among the caucus, the party membership and unions affiliates. This would be a high risk gambit in that it would pre-empt any review of the Labour election campaign and would be likely to open up new divisions.

While one can safely predict the caucus would vote against Cunliffe, the wider party and union response would be unpredictable, given that Cunliffe (ineptly) ran a centrist neo-Goff/Shearer campaign this year and not the left wing campaign that those who voted him into the leadership were expecting him to pursue. More>>

 

Key Seeking 'New Ideas': Look To Children’s Commissioner On Poverty - Greens

John Key should not reinvent the wheel when it comes to ideas for tackling child poverty, and instead look to the recommendations of the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Group on Child Poverty, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says. More>>

ALSO:

'Safe To Re-Enter' - OIA Docs: Safety Is Absolute Priority At Pike River Mine

“We understand that the time it is taking to complete our evaluation of the risks is frustrating for the family members and we are trying to complete this work as quickly as we can,” Ms Dunphy says. “It is Solid Energy’s responsibility to make this decision and we will do so, once we have all the information required to make a fully-informed decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Images & Report: Mihi To Welcome Newly-Elected MPs To Parliament

The 29 newly elected MPs were welcomed into Parliament with a Mihi. Parliament’s current Speaker David Carter offered advice from his experience working in Parliament advising the MPs to work collaboratively. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Very Bad Year

While Labour leader David Cunliffe still appears to be in denial about the extent of Saturday night’s debacle, there was hardly a single redeeming feature about the election results for the centre-left... More>>

ALSO:

General Election NZ: National Win

Election Night: With almost all votes counted National and John Key have won a third term and are close to being able to govern alone if they so choose. Key has indicated he will still reach out to form a Government with ACT, United Future and Maori Party. More>>

ALSO:

Perfectly-Timed Anniversaries: Suffrage Day Is Last Chance To Enrol

“The last chance to enrol is Friday 19 September. You can’t enrol on election day.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters… Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens. More>>

ALSO:

Meddling: Aussie Liberals Embroiled In Key Campaign

John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says. More>>

ALSO:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Big March: Call For An End To Domestic Violence

Hundreds of protesters marched down Lambton Quay to Parliament Monday calling for an end to domestic violence. Wearing white facemasks, waving banners and calling for “safety” for the women and children of New Zealand.. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news