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Sole parent students take up accommodation change

Hon Anne Tolley
Minister for Social Development

10 September 2015

Sole parent students take up accommodation change

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says nearly 600 studying sole parents are accessing higher accommodation support following changes on 1 July.

Sole parents who take up full time study are now eligible to receive the same rate of accommodation support they would on a main benefit. The new rate applies once students apply for their next period of study.

“598 applications have been approved in the first two months and the majority of these students are now receiving between $60 and $225 per week, depending on their circumstances,” Mrs Tolley says.

“Previously the maximum they could receive under the student support system was $60 a week.

“Initial results suggest that the average rate of payment has increased by $35.26 per week to $85.60 per week.

“This change removes a disincentive for sole parents to take up full time study and encourages them to make a positive change for both them and their families.

“We know that on average beneficiaries with a tertiary qualification spend six and a half years less on a benefit so it’s vital we make it as easy as possible for sole parents to make the change.

“This Government is committed to helping people off a benefit and into work and further education is often a significant stepping stone for people moving into long-term, sustainable employment.”

The full impact of the changes will not be known until March 2016, when the majority of students begin their next period of study.

ENDS

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