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Figures show allowance numbers continue to fall

Figures show student allowance numbers continue to fall

StudyLink figures, posted on their website over the weekend, show that only 54,621 students had received a student allowance for the July - September period this year, 4,031 less than the same time for last year and 7,077 less than this time in 2003.

“Student Allowance eligibility under the Labour Government has continued to fall throughout 2005, despite the Labour-led Government announcing in Budget 2004 that more students would receive allowances this year,” said Camilla Belich, Co President of the New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA).

“The 7% decrease in students receiving allowances shows that the small changes to allowance eligibility criteria haven’t worked and haven’t given more students allowances.”

“The answer to this problem is simple and long overdue. A living allowance for all students would mean students would know what they are entitled to when they study. Students would no longer be forced to borrow to live and, as a result, total student debt and borrowing would reduce.”

“This Christmas many students will be looking forward to the grisly prospect of a New Year of borrowing off the Government for basic essentials like rent, power, phone, and food expenses.”

“Michael Cullen must act immediately to ensure that Labour’s policy of 50% of all students receiving an allowance is implemented by Budget 2006 at the latest because at the moment, Labour is well short of this goal,” Belich said.


ENDS

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