Thursday, July 17, 2008

Universal student allowance is ten years overdue...

Universal student allowance is "ten years overdue"...

While one student leader sees a universal student allowance as "vote-grabbing", another says it would help plight of students

Victoria University's student leader says the possibility of Labour pledging a universal student allowance in its election campaign is ten years overdue.

The Government has crunched the numbers on the scheme and says it would cost more than $2 billion over four years, allowing 47,000 further students to access an allowance.

Victoria University Students' Association president Joel Cosgrove says at the last election Labour secured the vote of students and those attached to them with its student loan interest write offs.

Mr Cosgrove believes students will probably flock to the polls to vote for Labour once again if it announces a universal allowance scheme. He says he will not be among them, describing the idea as "a last ditch vote-grabbing attempt".

The Otago University Students Association say a universal allowance would go a long way to relieving the dire financial situation many students are in.

President Simon Wilson says he is glad the issue is on the agenda again. He says many Dunedin students are living a hand-to-mouth existence.

"In the past three years average student debt has risen by 54 percent. That's not all loan debt, in fact loan debt pretty much stayed the same, it's largely credit card debt and debt with banks, as the cost of living increases."

Compliments of 2008 NZCity, NewsTalkZB - 18-7-2008

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