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March 9, 2009 | by  | in News |
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New allowance maximum to make life under bridge tad easier

The Ministry of Social Development has recently announced an increase to the maximum allowance and living cost entitlements students will be able to draw upon.

From 1 April, the most amount a single student aged 18-23-years old studying away from home can receive from a student allowance will increase by $5.19 to $158.65 per week, while the living costs component of student loans will increase by $5.00 to $155.00 per week.

The increases were touted in the Labour Government’s 2008 budget, and were brought upon by recent inflationary pressure.

The changes, however, were greeted with disdain from both the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) and VUWSA. NZUSA Co-President Sophia Blair called the increases “poor.”

“The increases don’t cover nearly enough. NZUSA thinks getting people to borrow more money to live is ridiculous,” said Blair.

VUWSA President Jasmine Freemantle was equally dismissive of the changes.

“If we look at the average price of rent in a city such as Wellington or Auckland we all know—even with increases—it’s barely covering the cost of the room, much less any other associated costs like power and food,” Freemantle said.

“In Wellington, particularly with the low standard of housing, we have higher health costs and power bills. Also, when we’re talking about increases in the amount of money students can borrow through the loan scheme, to be paid back eventually. So while it may be somewhat useful in the short term, it’s still money students have to pay back at the end of the day.”

The Ministry of Social Development did not respond to Salient’s request for comment.

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  1. Natalie says:

    In other words: get a job ppl.

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