Press Release – Victoria University Students Association
Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has been challenged to live on $173 for a week after he claimed that the amount students’ can borrow to live on has risen with inflation.
President of the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association, Sonya Clark, challenges the Tertiary Education Minister, Steven Joyce, to live on the living costs students’ loan after he claimed that they had risen with inflation.
“The Minister is clearly out of touch if he claims that the amount students can borrow to live on have risen with inflation,” says Clark.
“Last century student living costs were determined to be $150 per week, Joyce claims that they have risen with inflation, however this is simply not true. According to the RBNZ online inflation calculator $150 in 1999 translates to $212.06 in 2014 using standard CPI. If we use the more appropriate housing category the figure is $346.62.”
“If the Minister truly believes that it’s enough to live on then I would challenge him to do so. I think he’d quickly find that it’s not even enough to cover the cost of a roof over his head.”
“If he really wants to modernise our economy than he needs to be ensuring the students are adequately supported to succeed.”
Clark said that there’s a desperate need for the course related costs to increase.
“It’s crazy that the amount students can loan to cover the necessities for study like textbooks hasn’t risen in over two decades. In 1992 it was determined that this was $1000. Since then it hasn’t increased a cent. Yet, as any Kiwi knows, the costs have skyrocketed. $1000 simply doesn’t cut it.”
“We’ve seen a significant increase in students coming in to use our foodbank because they simply can’t afford the basics like a can of baked beans or two minute noodles.”
“Students who depend on loaning living costs work considerably more hours than is recommended for someone in full-time study. This has a huge impact on their studies and seriously impacts the mental health of our countries’ best brains.”
“The government needs to immediately increase the amount students are able to loan to live on and phase in a universal allowance to ensure tertiary education is available to the brightest minds regardless of their background.”
“If he doesn’t think the government can afford it then I challenge him to survive on $173 for a week.”