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Living allowance for all students possible

18 October 2005

Student allowance commitments prove a living allowance for all students possible

The New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA) is applauding the formal commitments obtained by the Green Party and by United Future in their support agreements to increase access to student allowances over the next term of the Labour-led Government.

"We know there is widespread support in the community for a living allowance for all students. We are very happy that the Greens, United Future and Labour have listened to students and made solid moves towards this goal," said Camilla Belich, Co-President of the New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA).

In August, NZUSA commissioned Colmar Brunton to do a nationwide poll that found that 74% of New Zealanders believed more students should be able to receive a student allowance. Labour had already promised to increase student allowance eligibility to 50% of all students, as well as promising to wipe all interest for student loan borrowers in New Zealand.

"Students will be expecting that the commitment to increase access to student allowances in the United Future and Greens agreement will be in addition to Labours existing election pledge to increase student allowance entitlement," Belich said.

"The increased access to student allowances on top of the no interest policy on student loans proves that drastic changes were needed to tackle student loan debt that recently hit $8 billion," said NZUSA Co-President Andrew Kirton.

"Students can be proud of the collective action that ensured their voices have been heard by decision makers, but there is still along way to go until the debt monster is truly defeated," Kirton said.

ENDS

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