Press Release – NZ Union of Students’ Associations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Piddly rise slammed by students
31 March 2015
Media Release: New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations
The national student union is slamming tomorrow’s 90 cent increase to student allowances and living cost loan payments as an April fool’s joke in the face of runaway cost of living increases.
“This piddly increase doesn’t even go halfway in paying for the kind of rent rises we’re seeing in Auckland, Christchurch and actually all across the country,” says national student president Rory McCourt.
“Even in Hamilton the average student is paying three dollars more in rent per week than last year. In Auckland it’s been a nine dollar hike. With increases like that, this rise is simply a joke.”
McCourt said across the country rent was swallowing up a greater and greater share of a student’s income.
“If you’re a student in Dunedin, rent now gobbles up 70 per cent of your income. Only a few years ago that was a third, with some left over at the end of the week. Such sharp rent rises mean less money for basics like food and power.”
“I think most parents and grandparents would be shocked to see how much their loved ones pay in rent each week with such little income. As New Zealanders we expect all people should have enough money to pay for the basics. That’s not happening anymore for New Zealand’s students.” says McCourt.
The rates from April 1st:
• Maximum student allowance: $175.10, up from $174.21
• Maximum accommodation benefit (for allowance students only, living away from home): $40 in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin
• Maximum student loan living costs: $176.86, up from $175.96
• Average student rent in Auckland (bedroom in 3 bedroom flat): $218.16 in 2014, up from $209.90 in 2013 (based on MBIE Housing Data)
• National average annual rent rise: 9% to January 2015 (TradeMe)