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June 6, 2017 | by  | in Politics | [ssba]

The Party Line

The Budget was released by Minister for Finance Steven Joyce on May 25. In terms of students in Wellington, the big announcement pertained to the accommodation benefit cap for recipients of student allowance — it is estimated that it will increase from $40 to $60. However, critics have pointed out that only 33% of students (nationwide) qualify for allowance, and students who are only eligible for living costs also struggle with increased rental prices. Does the increase do enough to help students with the difficulties of finding affordable rental accommodation in Wellington?


Young Nats — Lower North Island

The most recent budget focuses on delivering for all New Zealanders, and we’re proud to say it does just that. This is the ninth National Party-led budget and it delivers a $116 million investment in mental health services, $1.1 billion for schools, and $185 million investment in emergency housing, alongside effective tax cuts for low income earners who will see up to an additional $20 in their pocket per week.

From a student perspective, the increase in the accommodation benefit is huge. The most at risk students will now have access to an additional $20 per week, showing that this National Government is committed to supporting us through our studies and ensuring that those who need support receive it.

With all parties in Parliament, except for Labour, supporting the tax measures introduced under this budget, it’s safe to say this budget truly is for all New Zealanders and we’re proud to support it.

— Sam Stead


Greens at Vic

The only people who are celebrating the accommodation supplement increase are the landlords who now have an excuse to overcharge even more for their poor quality rental properties. This election bribe will do nothing to help the vast majority of students who are struggling financially due to ridiculously unaffordable rental costs. The National Party are completely out of touch with the reality of our housing market and the day-to-day sacrifices students are making just to get by.

Steven Joyce and Bill English come from a student generation who built their careers off the back of affordable housing and tuition fees. They’ve now gone and pulled the ladder up behind them — telling us they way they had it before is “unaffordable” or “radical.” While the rich are getting a stealthy tax cut this year, students will remain saddled with huge debt, unaffordable rent, dwindling job opportunities, and no prospect of home ownership.

— Kayden Briskie


Vic Labour

For many, attending tertiary education without financial assistance is near impossible. National’s increase to student allowance does nowhere near enough to help students get affordable rental accommodation in Wellington.

National think it’s a nice election sweetener, though not enough for students still struggling week to week. The accommodation allowance increase is a slap in the face to students struggling to survive in an unaffordable rental market, and it adds further stress to students who hoped the government would lookout for them.

Labour will actually address the housing crisis directly by building warm and dry new properties, not just in Auckland, but the rest of the country as well. These will be genuinely affordable — under $500,000 for apartments and terraced homes, under $600,000 for stand-alone. Labour’s Three Years Free post-secondary school education and training will help all New Zealanders adapt to the ever-changing world of employment and careers.


About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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