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Maharey Short Sighted

4 September 2002

Maharey Short Sighted

Steve Maharey's negative response to a universal student allowance in the House yesterday shows alarming short sightedness according to the Aotearoa Tertiary Students' Association (ATSA). Currently, only one third of students can get an allowance and the rest have to rely on loans, part time work or family support to survive. The choice for the majority of students is between more debt, time away from study or taxing the family budget even further.

"The Minister is very aware that there is enough support in the house for Labour to implement a universal allowance," said Julie Pettett, President of ATSA. "The Greens, United Future, Progressive Coalition and New Zealand First have all advocated for universal allowances. The question is whether Labour is willing to provide support for all students. "

"Playing around with the thresholds of the allowance scheme is never going to address the problem," said Pettett. "A long term strategy needs to be put in place to ensure that changes are not just rearranging the problem."

"The logical strategy is one towards a universal allowance, and it is time that Labour commits to a whole solution."

ENDS

For further comment, contact: Julie Pettett ATSA National President Cell phone 029 939 1417 (04) 9391417

The Aotearoa Tertiary Students' Association - Representing University, Polytechnic and Wananga students


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