SO they’ve been talking about introducing a universal student allowance, but considering the amount it would cost it’s never been implemented. But of course it’s going to be an ugly election, so I shouldn’t really be too surprised that Labour’s decided to run with it. And I’m not too impressed. Not just because of the sheer amount it would cost but because of how inherently unfair it would be. I acknowledge the current system is deeply flawed, but I don’t think a universal allowance is the answer.
Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anyone I know who desperately needs and deserves the allowance but isn’t getting it. On the other hand, i can think of a few who, through clever accounting, get almost the full amount, plus fees paid and pocket money from parents, and others who, although not that extreme, do get a fair amount while living at home and often being subsidised for it. Parental testing is there for a reason, although it’s nowhere near perfect, and the limits are WAY TOO LOW.I don’t see a reason not to just dramatically increase the parental income limits to be more realistic instead.
I’d rather see way more emphasis put towards the actual AMOUNT we students get – and how much we can earn. There should be no cap. 190 before tax is insane. Why would you penalise someone for working hard just so they can buy food, bus pass, save a little and buy the occasional drink?
Also, accommodation supplement needs to go up. Those who live away from home need more than 40 a week in the hand. Admittedly it’s forty bucks free, but compared to the actual cost of living and Auckland rents it’s a bit like a slap in the face.
Im glad to think i’m graduating in a year. i would hate to be at uni struggling on an allowance knowing every single other person living at home, not paying rent, bills or food are getting exactly the same amount as me.
Maybe I’m a little jaded… I work hard and I’ve had so many odd jobs, working 2,3 or 4 at a time, and you can bet I don’t do it for fun. I have to work fulltime all summer long and can’t just take time off for road trips or holidays. Which I don’t mind at all, it’s my lot in life, but man I’m glad I’ll be long out of uni when the universal allowance is in.
I quite like Peter Dunne’s way of thinking. Actually, the more I hear about him the more impressed I am, oddly enough. Apparently the allowance scheme is roughly equal to the total cost of university fees, so he’d rather just make tertiary education completely free.