INDEPENDENT NEWS

Benefit should be there for students who need it

Published: Fri 16 Jan 2004 02:31 PM
Fleur Fitzsimons
NZUSA Co-President
Summer Unemployment Benefit should be there for students who need it
Students are welcoming figures released by Steve Maharey that show increased employment of students over summer but are calling on the government to start supporting all students who can't find work.
"We're pleased that Student Job Search is placing more students in longer jobs," said Fleur Fitzsimons, Co-President of the New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA). "However there are a number of students who cannot find work and are being forced to rely on food banks and charity because of the government's refusal to re-instate the Emergency Unemployment Benefit."
The two thirds of students who don't receive a student allowance during the year are not automatically entitled to unemployment assistance.
"Student association food banks are busier than ever," said Fitzsimons. "The government is still not doing enough to support students over summer, and Maharey is still not making good on his promise to ensure that no students will go hungry over summer."
While students not automatically eligible for an unemployment benefit can still apply for an exceptional circumstances benefit, many are being declined. "According to government figures from October 2002 to September 2003, nearly one third of applications for this urgent benefit were declined. How many are being declined this summer?" asked Fitzsimons.
For further information contact: Fleur Fitzsimons NZUSA Co-President Phone 04 498 2500 Mobile Phone 0274 86 86 77

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