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Young Labour Welcomes Universal Student Allowance

Press Release for Immediate Release

Young Labour Welcomes Universal Student Allowance

Monday, 13 October 2008

Young Labour is hailing Labour's policy to move quickly to a Universal Student Allowance as big vote winner amoung students and young people.

"In terms of the student vote it's a swift kick in the balls for National," Young Labour president Eric Goddard said after the policy was announced at Otago University earlier today. "This is what students have been asking for ever since Labour's interest free student loan policy came through and it's going to be awfully hard for National to beat it."

Young Labour Regional Representative Ella Hardy said the turnout and reception by students at Otago was incredible, "The place was jam packed, it was great to see so many students showing their support."

The new policy will see the parental income threshold rise swiftly until it is abolished completely in 2012, allowing around 50,000 more students to qualify for the student allowance.

"Labour has worked non-stop to make education in New Zealand more equitable - and Helen's announcement today is another step in the right direction." Goddard said. "This will allow all fulltime students to focus on their studies without having to work long hours just to pay the rent, it's also going to be a popular policy amoung parents of students and soon-to-be students."

The policy is one that Young Labour has supported and campaigned for within the Labour Party for some time and was one of the top priorities in their 2008 Policy Manifesto.

"Investing in students and not burdening them with crippling debt is the best way to build a sustainable and longterm economy that can deliver for New Zealand. Labour is the Party of longterm thinking and not short-term policies like National's plan to axe Kiwisaver," said Goddard.

Student debt has had a lot of negative effects on our society - women, Maori and Pacific Islanders are all taking longer to repay their loans compared to their Pakeha male colleagues. This will make repayments easier and break down some of the barriers to education.


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