Universal Student Allowances

July 17th, 2008 at 8:33 am by David Farrar

Colin Espiner is now speculating that rather than increase to $350 a week, the Government may pledge to make existing allowances universal – or in other words remove parental means testing.

I have long supported getting rid of parental means testing as 24 year olds should not be assessed on parental income instead of their own.

The main reason it has not happened to date is competing fiscal priorities. The interest free loans policy is incredibly generous and costly, and it is hard to say that more money for tertiary rather than early childhood is the priority.

The gross cost of universal allowances is $2b over four years but this reduces to $728 million over four years when you take account of reduced borrowing. I’m a bit suspicious of those figures though as it sounds like one is contrasting expenditure and borrowing and they are not the same thing. Only the reduction in interest writeoffs should be counted not the reduction in borrowing.

If the net effect on the fiscal surplus is around $180 million a year then it is relatively affordable. If it is $500 million a year then in the current financial squeeze it would be quite irresponsible. That of course means it can’t be ruled out as ’s plan seems to be to wreck the Government’s books on the way out.

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72 Responses to “Universal Student Allowances”

  1. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    yes…but babbies/nippers don’t get a vote come november..eh..?

    ..this is a smart move from labour..(signalling ‘more smart moves’..coming up..?..)

    ..and is another nail in the coffin of nationals election chances..

    privatisation vs. the widening/strengthening of social support..

    ..maybe we are (finally!) seeing a point of difference between national and labour..

    (mmm..!..smell the lab/grn/mp/p coalition govt..!

    ..our first ‘real’ m.m.p. government..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  2. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    It’s a good policy. National will support it.

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  3. big bruv (12,322 comments) says:

    Lee C

    Its a shit policy and National should distance themselves from this as quickly as they can.

    Phul

    Who do you think is going to pay for this “widening/strengthening of social support”? (a.k.a more money for bludgers)

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  4. Inventory2 (9,788 comments) says:

    It’s a bribe; nothing more, nothing less

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2008/07/lolly-nomics.html

    To turn Labour’s objections to National’s tax cuts proposals back on them – how many hip operations will be cancelled to pay for this policy?

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  5. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    big bruv It’s a good policy and National should support it. inventory rather you should be asking ‘How many hip-hop tours will be cancelled to pay for this?’

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  6. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..Who do you think is going to pay for this “widening/strengthening of social support”?..”

    ..and who do you think is going to (ultimately) have to pay for nationals’ privatisation-policies..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  7. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    cool! that really endears me to labour… i mean only about 25 grand of my student loan was fucking living costs!!!

    the thing is, i make about 5 times the average wage now, so its not the money that upsets me.. its the fact they are taking us back 20 years. graduates earn more (on average) than non-grads.. we should pay our own way!

    so basically one generation coped all the costs, now they are making money they get taxed out of existance to pay for the next generation..

    just gotta ask – what did my generation do that was so bad? :(

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  8. big bruv (12,322 comments) says:

    Lee C

    With respect I cannot agree with you, the tax payer (the vast majority who have not been to University) already subsidise education, now you want them to provide students with a benefit as well?…its just not on.

    Most students will do very well, they will take their degree’s and earn far more then the average wage, they should look at it as an investment in their future and be prepared to pay for it.

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  9. big bruv (12,322 comments) says:

    Phul

    Can you answer the question for a change?

    Oh and while I have you, how about that bet?

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  10. Inventory2 (9,788 comments) says:

    No Lee, I’m just thinking of all the bulldust that the Labour ministers pull out whenever National talks about tax cuts – like “How much are ya gunna borrow?”; “How many doctors and nurses are ya gunna sack?”; “How many teachers are ya gunna sack?”

    If that’s the test that Labour applies to any of National’s spending plans, then the same should apply in reverse.

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  11. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    big bruv – I see ths as a reward to the middle classes for the hard work they put into raising kids who aspire to a better education, and then not having to be means tested, and qualified or otherwise to pay for their kids’ learning.
    It is actually as far-right as you can go in my oipinion – it uses the tax-dollar to incentivise rich people to invest money they would otherwise have spent on their kids’ education into other investments such as stock, share, property and such. It will actually improve the gap between the rich and the poor, because education is about attitude, and if it is liberated from hereditary factors, it will reward any kid who ants to take it up. The poor parents will still have to borrow and make up the difference, while the rich will see this as a large cash inducement to get richer.
    The lefties will argue it’s all about ‘social equality’ but tht is because they can’t see that Labour are actually attempting here to butuy the middle class vote, not the working class one.

    inventory I agree with you about Labour’s attitdue but Nats couls show real leadership on this and warmly congratulate Labour, and actually find ways to up the ante, rather than falling for the obvious trick of being invited to reject the idea – it is simply playing into Labours’ hands, when on merit, Nationals could say ‘yeah nice one – we will not oppose it.’ Then wavering voters can still vote for the reasonable alternative, rather than the bribers.

    Come on troops.
    ergo I applaud it.

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  12. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    you answer my question first..

    and..why on earth would i be so stupid as to take a bet with someone i trust as far as i could throw them..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  13. homepaddock (429 comments) says:

    Reducing the age at which student allowances no longer depend on parental income would be okay, especially if they used the same criteria for beneficiaries; but a universal allowance is not the best use of scarce taxpayers’ money: http://homepaddock.wordpress.com/2008/07/17/728m-student-election-bribe/

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  14. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    can you afford to be taking bets philu?

    lee – “I see ths as a reward to the middle classes for the hard work they put into raising kids who aspire to a better education, and then not having to be means tested, and qualified or otherwise to pay for their kids’ learning.”

    what about the lifetime students? the 40 something white trash obese social worker students? heh

    im with bruv… uni is an investment in your furtue… its like my bro that paid 80 grand to become a commercial pilot.. he paid the money.. now he makes plenty.. its a market economy people.

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  15. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    and why won’t you confirm you ‘stole’ your name from big bro..?

    eh..?

    you have all the imagination/creativity of a cardboard box..

    (but that sorta goes with the ‘bad dress sense’..and the s.o.h. bye-pass at birth that is the ‘burden’ you righties carry..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    [DPF: And that is 20 demerits. You're been doing a lot of abuse lately and it is getting too disruptive. Others should be careful also - I have had a lot of complaints that the last week especially has had the noise to signal ratio too high]

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  16. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    anyway – I gotta go picture frames don’t make themselves yo know!

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  17. slightlyrighty (2,448 comments) says:

    This is a bribe. Pure and simple. As a policy it will have some serious backlashes. Existing students and recent graduates who have already incurred loans, interest free or not, will have some resentment that they not only have to pay back their own loans, but if they remain in this country, their taxes will subsidise the next generation of graduates.

    Of course they will ask why, having had to cover a greater percentage of their own education costs than their parents had to, and faced with more obstacles in their post education life in areas such as home ownership, and providing for their own retirements while subsidising their parents retirements, they have this additional burden to cover the costs of those that come after them.

    I hope that National point this out to the electorate.

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  18. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..I hope that National point this out to the electorate..”

    yes…but they aren’t a majority..are they..?

    many more will be pleased with this policy than are displeased..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  19. comsumist (59 comments) says:

    This policy is a desperate election bribe.
    It’s also wrong, why should workers finance people to gain a distinct advantage over them in the wage stakes.
    Despite students having to pay their way there has been an increase in student numbers, partiucalry those doing studies that end in real jobs.
    I can see why lefties are delighted, this will see an increase in social sciences students of the type close to heart of just about everyone in the Labour Party. This policy will help increase the number of Labour voters long term and ensure fresh blood into Labours team.

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  20. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    really? many more will be pleased than displeased?

    really?

    “yea im stoked everyone gets an allowance now, my kids only 5 and im struggling without a decent tax cut, but it will all be worth it in 15 years when little johnny gets his allowance”

    “yea my kid just finished uni and owes 20 grand, now neither of us cant get a decent tax cut, but i think its awesome my neighbours kid is gonna be debt free after his degree”

    “yea im 57 and my kids have left home, i work in a factory and things are bloody tough mate, but ya know, when i see that happy dope smoking student getting a free ride, its all worth it.. i mean i dont need to drive as much.. or spend as much on the basics”

    “yea my kids too thick for uni and now god is punishing me for having a dumbass son. we get nothing but the rich guy with the smart kid doesnt have to write an cheques for his kids uni now”

    Labour – promoting great, fair and balanced policy

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  21. Graeme Edgeler (3,216 comments) says:

    what about the lifetime students? the 40 something white trash obese social worker students? heh

    The student allowance is presently limited to 5 years (with the potential for a sixth in limited cirucmstances). Abolishing mean-testing off parental income would probably not change this. I also note that your “40 something” student isn’t means-tested off parental income at present.

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  22. mavxp (490 comments) says:

    If it was such a good policy why didnt they implement it 9 years ago? Its clearly “selfish student voter” bait.

    If someone who cannot afford to go without an allowance wants to go to university, they can. They can get a job in the work force full time for two years, save some money, and then qualify for full student allowance. At least that was the rules when I last looked (which admittedly was some time ago, but I doubt very much it has changed). Also, the Army is another option – service before/ during/ after college is another way to get through. Not a popular option, but an option nevertheless.

    If people really want to go to uni, and don’t have the financial backing of Ma and Pa, then they can do it EASY on the current system, easier in fact than when I went through and had to pay interest at 7% *whilst studying*. Ma & Pa didnt pay for me, and I got $0 from the government for an allowance. But I am damn grateful I had only 25% of the fees to pay for on my student loan. But the line has to be drawn somewhere, and Labour just keep handing over tax payers money at election year – is this value for money? No way, its an easy enough ride as it is – too easy in fact.

    So no, the students can damn well earn their place at uni, they have enough hand outs already.

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  23. Nigel (503 comments) says:

    Tough call, seems to me you could provide a base universal amount which hit’s it’s lowest level at 120k parental income & peaks at 60k parental income. Though in the current fiscal environment isn’t any talk of increasing govt spending irresponsible unless directly intended to stimulate the economy.

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  24. mavxp (490 comments) says:

    Policies I would consider if I were National:

    * Change to a merit based system. i.e. “A” bursary students get full allowance, “B” Bursary students get 1/2 allowance. “C”‘s get 0.

    * Remove interest free student loans & open it up to the market. Incentives such as lower interest rates for high GPA students could then be implemented.

    * Increase funding in skills shortages – e.g. Trades, Engineering and Medicine courses. Invest heavily in research & development in Universities in these areas to attract the best local and foreign students to study and then work here.

    * reduce 75% funding for non skills shortage degrees and courses to 50% or less, but ensure top performers are well catered for with scholarships worthy of the name. Implement tax incentives for private trusts and businesses to sponsor students. Quality goes up over quantity, restoring value in the market to the BA(Hons) degree.

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  25. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    hard to defend this one eh phil?

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  26. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    mavxp, how bout grades *during* study for allowances?? And on your fourth point, I think we already do have some incentives for philanthropy e.g. 33% of your donation rebated up to 100% of your annual income. Would be interested to know about other measures you think could be taken…

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  27. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    what’s to be defended..?

    it’s a good idea..

    it just dosen’t go far enough..

    higher education should be free for all with the intellectual nous to do it..

    phil9whoar.co.nz)

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  28. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    heh socialists are funny

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  29. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    was kinda hoping youd defend your sweeping statement “that the majority of people will like this policy”.. i paraphrased a bit.. but you get the idea

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  30. Short Shriveled and Slightly to the Left (759 comments) says:

    Comsumist, I hate this idea
    If Labour promises this then I just cant vote for them
    I have voted Greens even though this is their policy because I just couldnt see it happening anyway

    I did like Interest free loans but would have been happy with Inflation adjusted loans

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  31. big bruv (12,322 comments) says:

    Phul

    “higher education should be free for all with the intellectual nous to do it..”

    I will ask AGAIN, who do you think ends up paying for all this “free” stuff?, the lower paid will end up subsidising the rich, do you think that is fair?

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  32. Short Shriveled and Slightly to the Left (759 comments) says:

    mavxp
    those are policies you would consider if you were Act

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  33. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    DPF:

    “That of course means it can’t be ruled out as Labour’s plan seems to be to wreck the Government’s books on the way out.”

    Oh I don’t think your beloved National Party can claim any kind of moral high ground when it comes to fiscal responsibility Mr Farrar. In 2005, National promised to cement in a structural fiscal deficit by offering hugely irresponsible tax cuts, along with maintaining existing social spending levels. Now in 2008 National promise to do the same thing, only to a greater degree. The thing that you’re really pissed off with, is that Labour has erased the surplus, which means National will have to ramp up fiscal debt, through irresponsible borrowing in order to pay for a bigger lollie scramble than Labour.

    Both parties are obviously being irresponsible, but you well know Mr Farrar, that National is by far the most egregious offender in these stakes.

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  34. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    big bruv:

    “the lower paid will end up subsidising the rich, do you think that is fair?”

    In fact 75% of the adult population pays less than the average amount of tax paid, meaning that the vast majority of people are probably receiving more in direct and indirect benefits from government spending than what they pay in tax. Most of the population are in fact being subsidised by the very rich, which is the way it is in most OECD countries, and the way it ought to be. The health and education of the people are more important than some guy’s ability to buy a new BMW every year, rather than every second year.

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  35. Tauhei Notts (1,508 comments) says:

    I live in a provincial town. One of mates asked last week of all the employers in town who employ more than four people; how many of them went to university?
    Take away the lawyers and accountants and the answer is a big fat zero.
    Now, go and tell all those people who grapple with the intricacies of employment and tax law whether paying young revellers, who masquerade as students, that paying them $350 is a good use of taxpayers’ funds.
    An employer would have to be a bar or cafe owner in the vicinity of a university to agree with this law.

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  36. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    i think it’s called a ‘social contract’…

    google it..!

    and while you are there..you might like to consider the salient fact that those countries with the ‘best stats’..

    ..are the ones that follow a social contract ethos..

    ..(i think they figured having a disposessed/uneducated underclass running amuck/rampaging wasn’t such good idea..?

    (go figure..!..eh..?..)

    and that life isn’t just the dog-eat-dog/fuck the poor model you aspire to..

    and..did you steal your name/alias from big bro..?..

    (typical rightie..!..devoid of originality..tired rehashing their metier..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz

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  37. big bruv (12,322 comments) says:

    Roger

    “Most of the population are in fact being subsidised by the very rich, which is the way it is in most OECD countries, and the way it ought to be. The health and education of the people are more important than some guy’s ability to buy a new BMW every year, rather than every second year”

    Which just proves that you have no interest at all in improving the lot of those at the bottom of the rung, its all about control with you and your lot.

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  38. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    ” The health and education of the people are more important than some guy’s ability to buy a new BMW every year, rather than every second year.”

    interesting.. so education should include tertiary?

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  39. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    Inventory2:

    Why is this “a bribe” if National’s tax cuts are (I presume) not a bribe?
    What’s the difference between a bribe and a not-bribe?
    Is it just that you don’t like Labour very much, so all of their policies are “bribes”; or is it some more rational distinction?

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  40. Manolo (12,616 comments) says:

    “higher education should be free for all with the intellectual nous to do it.”

    Utmost stupidity! Nothing is “free”. Someone, i.e. the anonymous taxpayer, pays for it in one way or another.

    Whoar, you’ll never learn that the “free” lifestyle you seem to enjoy so much is not only morally bankrupt, but also unsustainable. Your usual praise/advocacy of parasitic behaviours is despicable.

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  41. Fisiani (850 comments) says:

    It is July 17th and Colin Espiner has had the bloody cheek to publish a leak from the Beehive of a policy bribe that was meant to be announced AFTER National declared its reasoned and moderate policy on student allowances.
    This makes it impossible to launch this bribe one week before election date as planned. “Bugger!” says Helen. “Bugger!” says Pete Hodgson MP For Dunedin North (ie Otago University)
    Bribes for all Labour leaning pensioners to be kept under wraps till Oct 15. Bribes for all Labour leaning parents to be kept under wraps till Oct 20th. Bribes for all Labour leaning Maori to be released (Oct 24th).
    Frantic pleas to be issued with dire threats of the end of civilisation and probable John Key baby eating on November 7th.
    Electoral oblivion for Labour November 8th. Bring it on.

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  42. Pascal (2,015 comments) says:

    roger nome: In 2005, National promised to cement in a structural fiscal deficit by offering hugely irresponsible tax cuts, along with maintaining existing social spending levels. Now in 2008 National promise to do the same thing, only to a greater degree.

    And even funnier. Labour has done it in 2008. Yet you don’t seem to complain about that. You could save us all a lot of time if you just posted “Labour Good, National Bad”.

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  43. NX (597 comments) says:

    National should really have announced a generous universal student allowance last election to counter Labour’s interest free student loans; it may have won them the election.

    However, the universal student allowance has the potential to piss off graduates who didn’t have such a luxury when they were studying. I was one of them.

    Anyone who’s been through the student allowance process or even the unemployment benefit will know how RUBBISH the system is.

    If you want money for nothing the best supplement you can get is the invalids/sickness benefit and accommodation supplement.

    I reckon they should just drop the unemployment benefit all together because how it is currently configured – it doesn’t apply to your average bloke who’s been laid-off.

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  44. paradigm (507 comments) says:

    philu said:
    “higher education should be free for all with the intellectual nous to do it.”

    At present the problem is that tertiary education is too accessible to those WITHOUT the intellectual nous to benefit from it. This tends to lead to pressure to scale up and pass inferior students, as student incomes are a major income source for a university. As such rather than creating a more educated populous, the higher fraction of people with university education is just diluting the value of the degrees by conferring entrance into them to those who simply aren’t up to scratch.

    The situation is not entirely dissimilar to the reserve bank printing large amounts of money.

    This is not to say that university entrance should be restricted by the price of admission, there should be tougher academic entrance requirements. To address the original topic, a universal student allowance would be highly desirable. To be made affordable, entrance to university should be more tightly controlled to maintain the value of the degrees.

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  45. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    NX,

    “it may have won them the election.” – anything for power, whether it’s a good idea or not? (this applies to Labour too)

    “potential to piss off graduates” – HELL yes, at least ‘no interest’ had a certain ‘inter-generational’ equality ring to it.

    “ill know how RUBBISH the system is.” – I don’t think it’s rubbish, it’s just that you can’t get an allowance unless your parents earn under 52,000 a year or something. I had the unemployment benefit, worked allright for me, though maybe my no-nonsense, take-no-shit-from-no one case manager was some sort of exception.

    “doesn’t apply to your average bloke who’s been laid-off.” – eh? why not? I thought you get it if you’re looking for work?

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  46. Ryan Sproull (6,661 comments) says:

    Paradigm,

    Speaking as someone who has taught first-year students, I think high-school education in New Zealand will have to improve first. The students are packed to the brim with talent, but much of it is undeveloped. Restricting university entrance on the basis of post-secondary pre-tertiary academic proficiency would exclude a large number of students whose potential doesn’t blossom until in a tertiary environment. Perhaps higher requirements for moving from first-year to second-year.

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  47. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    man-so-low..

    your parasitic lifestyle of being an alcohol-pusher would be viewed by not a few as ‘despicable’..and ‘morally bankrupt’..

    do you make no connection between the poison you peddle/the money you make/the health-social outcomes..?

    who pays that bill..?

    man-so-low..?

    and dime..

    “..interesting.. so education should include tertiary?..”

    yes..do we not want a well-educated populace..?

    or are you righties happy with drones you can employ at minimum wage..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  48. NX (597 comments) says:

    eh? why not? I thought you get it if you’re looking for work?

    1. There’s like a 4 week stand down.
    2. You have to take the first job that is offered to you – regardless.
    3. You have to turn up twice a week to show what job interviews you’ve been to.

    ^so if you were say a hairdresser who was laid off & you needed some help for a few months while you find another hairdressing job – then the unemployment benefit doesn’t apply due to the criteria above. The hairdresser would be made to pick kiwifruit – not fair on someone who’s paid their taxes.
    So in summary, the unemployment benefit is only for people who are unemployable due to a poor life choice i.e. drugs, alcohol, lack of honesty etc.
    For your average Joe – they’re better off digging into their savings till a job they want comes up. The system’s rubbish.

    I used to get Independent student allowance (until Labour canceled it). So I was getting over $100 a week due to a technicality while some poor student gets nothing due to another technicality. So once again – the system isn’t fair so it’s rubbish.

    ^ My advice; either scrap the supplements or make them universal (but perhaps with a time limit).

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  49. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    you do realise graduates make more than non-grads right phil?

    why not pay for that privilege??????????

    funny how the left love students, but hate what they turn into – high income earners employing drones lol

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  50. Pascal (2,015 comments) says:

    philu: do you make no connection between the poison you peddle/the money you make/the health-social outcomes..?

    Says the self confessed ex-criminal with a drug habit. Do you push drugs to children too, Phil?

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  51. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    you didn’t address my ‘well-educated/drone’ question..

    and you seem to discount the many talented young/poor people who cannot countenance getting up to their eyeballs in debt..

    they and we both lose from that..

    we are pissing our societies’ talents up against the wall..

    …by not making higher learning free for all..

    and encouraging/promoting the ideal of education..to the poor..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  52. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..Do you push drugs to children too, Phil?..”

    nah..!..mate..!

    and i also ensure my son/children around me aren’t exposed to second-hand smoke..

    ..any other questions..?

    ..would you like to try to address the issue at hand..?

    oh..!..silly me..!…i thought/mistook you were/for someone who could..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  53. emmess (1,332 comments) says:

    I am sure this policy would be a net vote loser (at least from National to Labour)
    People will be extremely pissed off when told anything more than the miniscule tax cuts are unaffordable which are being more than eaten by inflation, and that this is affordable
    It is one thing that parents don’t want their kids student debt to get out of control, another that they don’t have to work and all their drinking will be paid for by their tax cuts forgone instead
    Bring it on I say

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  54. NX (597 comments) says:

    anything for power, whether it’s a good idea or not?

    ^well almost anything if it meant the end of Clark & Cullen.

    With the election so tight in 2005 the only way to counter a bribe is with another bribe (though Brash would’ve found this very painful).

    The situation is a little different for this up and coming election. Labour promising the earth would be seen as desperate.

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  55. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Sounds like a pretty shitty situation NX! They weren’t as hard on me as I was qualified and prepared up to they eyeballs, apparently, so they really just trusted me to do my thing after going to two 5 hour courses on interviews etc with a fortnightly meeting.

    “2. You have to take the first job that is offered to you – regardless.” They said they wouldn’t offer anything inappropriate (they didn’t and I hope they don’t do that), although they did dangle ‘WINZ case worker’ in front of me briefly…

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  56. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    dude my student loan was 30 grand! somehow i managed to survive and even prosper in this mean nasty world.

    should it be free to train to be a pilot? that costs about 80 grand.. that be cool?

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  57. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    I think not all that many people understood what Brash was offering in 2005 – something vague about a ‘tax credit’ or something..?

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  58. NX (597 comments) says:

    They said they wouldn’t offer anything inappropriate (they didn’t and I hope they don’t do that), although they did dangle ‘WINZ case worker’ in front of me briefly…

    Well that certainly wasn’t the case in the BOP. I needed the unemployment benefit for a couple of months while I was finishing up some graduate work (my bank a/c was almost dry). Anyway, I suppose to attend some group interview for a packing house job & when I didn’t turn up – not only was I lectured, but they threaten to take away my supplement. It really pissed me off because I had worked to support myself previously – but really didn’t have the time for work while writing the paper.
    Apparently they were trying out new strict methods in BOP – which had reduced the number of people on the unemployment benefit. But it made it almost irrelevant for anyone who genuinely needed it.

    And yeah.. I’ve heard of the glory day stories where an ex-student could go on the dole for months on end while they enjoyed a hobby like fixing a boat. It’s not that hard for a student to live off dole money because they’re already in that frugal frame of mind.

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  59. Pascal (2,015 comments) says:

    NX: So in summary, the unemployment benefit is only for people who are unemployable due to a poor life choice i.e. drugs, alcohol, lack of honesty etc.

    Which is why I prefer to pay for my own income protection insurance. Then I know that if I should happen to lose my job I’ll be covered until I find a position that is appropriate to my skills. Now if we could get Labour to give me back the money they spend for me on their beneficiaries, I’d feel a lot happier about having to pay once for shit insurance and once for the insurance that will actually work for me.

    This is the same with many things. It works much better if people have a choice about what they do and what they pay for. Then maybe phil will actually have to go out and get a job, rather than foisting his lifestyle choice and P habit on the rest of us and forcing us to cut back on what we can do for our families because he would rather stay at home with his son and do drugs. And expects us to pay for that.

    Oh and phil?

    You are clearly thicker than mud as you missed the entire point. I’ll explain. You cannot cast stones at Manolo for selling a legal item from legal premises when you are up to your eyebals in illegal drugs. All that does is highlight your lack of intelligence and your double standards, you miserable fuckwit.

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  60. paradigm (507 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull:
    I would agree with your point regarding the need to fix secondary school standards. An enormous amount has been removed from the high school curriculum. Currently, many first year university courses to be little more than catch up courses, designed to bring students from Bursary (or “NCEA level 3″) to where they need to be, and were originally covered in high school, prior to certain reforms that have been carried out on the syllabus.

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  61. NX (597 comments) says:

    Thisis the same with many things

    It sure is. But it’s not until you go through a system that you realise how flawed it is. I reckon most of the MPs have no idea.

    I have no problem with supplements and safely nets, but they need to be labeled correctly.

    I.e. the unemployment benefit = money for unemployable people who fuck up their lives. If this isn’t you then take some drugs & come back to us otherwise kindly fuck off and fend for yourself.

    It’s just a shame people like you are essentially paying twice due to an inadequate system, but that’s the same with many things.

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  62. big bruv (12,322 comments) says:

    A dream scenario.

    Comrade Espiner: I am here with John Key the leader of the National party, “John are National going to implement a universal student allowance if they become the government in November”

    John Key: No.

    Comrade Espiner: Why?, Labour say that….

    John Key: Guyon, I don’t care what Labour and Clark have to say, this does not form any part of Nationals plans for the new Government we are going to lead.

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  63. Pascal (2,015 comments) says:

    NX: I reckon most of the MPs have no idea. I have no problem with supplements and safely nets, but they need to be labeled correctly.

    I would be surprised if the MPs did have an idea. They are insulated from all of this to a large degree. And I agree, I have no problems with safety nets. It is when those become accepted as alternatives that I get stroppy.

    My biggest problem was with healthcare, actually. I had a < 1 year old daughter who was diagnosed by our local emergency room as having meningicoccal disease. They phoned the hospital ahead of time and we rushed off, as fast as we could. When we arrived?

    Please take a seat, a doctor would be in to see you as soon as possible.

    No matter how much I raged and shouted and pleaded, it took from (If I remember correctly) 10pm to around 4am before a doctor could get to see us. It turned out to be chickenpox, but those who know the disease know as well as I do that if it had been meningicoccal disease that delay could very well have been fatal. And then we’d have been just another face in the protests that Anetta King as Health Minister and all her ilk ignored.

    So now I fork out almost $300 per month for private health insurance. But still, I have to pay so that drug users like phil who stay at home out of choice does not have to pay for his medical care.

    Anyway, I’ve made my point. In essence I think the government should stay the fuck out of:

    * Insurance
    * Health care
    * Education

    and should instead use vouchers (Think of ACT and the northern European systems), tax reductions that start with the lower income earners and so forth to put the power of choice and responsibility back in the hands of New Zealanders.

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  64. PhilBest (5,112 comments) says:

    Agree, Pascal.

    Does anybody else notice the irony of socialist government levying some of the highest taxes in the world on LOW income earners, while subsidising things for the wealthy?

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  65. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    I did Phil, and even got demerits for applauding it. Go figure.

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  66. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “and should instead use vouchers (Think of ACT and the northern European systems), tax reductions that start with the lower income earners and so forth to put the power of choice and responsibility back in the hands of New Zealanders.”

    Damn right. I sure as hell don’t need leftist dickheads like Annette King making decisions about my medical treatment.

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  67. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..up to my eyeballs..’..?..(i should be so lucky..!)

    ..and we are talking pot here..

    oh..!..sorry..i forgot you are an r.r.r.n…a raving rabid rrightie nutbar..

    and look..there’s your ‘crew’..

    phil the inferior..lee c..and ratty..

    and i think that person who stole big bro’s ‘name’ is also hanging around somewhere..

    ..he’s one of you lot too..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  68. hubbers (204 comments) says:

    It’s bribe pure and simple. Labour is looking to shore-up their traditional areas of support. Look for a promised big increase in benefits to “combat inflation” closer to the election.

    If they can get enough votes they can still form a minority government with the usual suspects.

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  69. reid (15,505 comments) says:

    Of course its a bribe but it’s one that keeps on giving in a lefty’s eye. It won them the last election, didn’t it.

    Why?

    Leverage.

    You give money to a student and you get their vote + the possibility of votes from the parents and grandparents of every student in NZ.

    The fact they dropped it now instead of at the last minute as they did last election, indicates their desperation, and possibly an early poll date. They don’t want to announce the date until they stop looking like inevitable losers. They’ll be hoping for a lift in the polls and maybe in early August they’ll announce a September election.

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  70. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,786 comments) says:

    Dime says at 9.10 am:

    what did my generation do that was so bad?

    The answer my friend is that you didn’t move overseas upon graduating from university. Then you would earn the big bucks while at the same time giving the one fingered salute to those, like the current Labour government, that have designs to misappropriate your money through over taxing you to pay for bludger’s and wastrels.

    Payback is never sweeter.

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  71. Gloria (12 comments) says:

    This policy of Prime Minister Helen Clarke’s is contemptible. She is trying to buy student’s votes. Understandably the bride will appeal to students as it will reduce their debt but by voting for Labour they are condoning Labour’s policies. If the Labour Party wins, government bureaucracy is likely to continue to increase; University standards will decline in my opinion, (The head of NZ’s top University has openly criticised the Labour Party for this policy because of the lack of funding for Universities.) taxes will remain high, and the taxpayer will continue to pay for the Labour Parties dismal social engineering policies.

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  72. warning-student (1 comment) says:

    a few little pointers….

    firstly, how can ppl go on about low income households having to pay for students. firstly they are on a lower tax bracket to begin with, plus the majority of them receive some amazing forms of support such as child care grants family tax etc. and some of them can actually work out better off than those slightly above the threshold who have to pay for everything themselves and are entitled to nothing!
    and if their ever so mild tax increase does occur, should they not think, ‘well, its making the difference for my country’s and children’s future’. secondly, if they would have bothered to get off their backsides and made the effort in the first place to make something of themselves, and taken advantage of the fact that THEY could have easily received a student allowance and the financial support they required to get them through uni, so they do not have the crap income that they do, then more fool them.
    You cannot blame the ambition, hard work and dreams of today’s futher education students, for the lack of drive or even tough circumstances of those who opted out of education.

    secondly, why should parents be financially responsible for their children until they are 25 years of age! Because at that age if they are not at uni, they are more than likely not going to be financially responsible for them. I recognise that the average leaving age for home is higher these days, but most adults living at home are required to make a financial contribution. I do not no many 22 year olds that are living at home rent free, with no job. The government accepts the legal age for leaving home is 16, and parents do not have to be financially responsible them!

    I am not saying that students deserve a free ride. I work 30 hours a week and am studying full time, as well as having a toddler. And i am quite frankly burning out but I just get on woth it and do it. I’m not entitled to a student allowance as my husbands wage is just above the threshold, and i still work to provide the nessessary money for all the bloody bills. I pay for my daughters childcare costs, and travel to uni, but we do this just to scrape by. It is the price I choose to pay in order to provide my family with a comfortable and enjoyable future. However, access to a student allowance during exam times would be more than appreciated. Why should I dig myself into futher debt by taking a living cost loan at these times, and affect my chances of being able to get a mortgage in the future? When there are people over 25 at uni, with no children, committments, no jobs, no bills and worst of all doing no bloody work!!! They are the ones giving students a bad name. Those and the fresh out of school ‘dont really no what i wanna do’ kids who attend, use the funds and drop out.

    There has been research to support that those who receive student allowance are significantly more likely to suceed in their studies. And I can understand this. Studying full time, if you are committed, really does mean full time. $150 does not go far. In shared housing $90 of that in this area is used solely on rent. That leave $60 for food, travel, electric etc. That is less than people have left from benefits! And speaking of benefits, the age group with the highest percentage of claiming unemployment benefit is 18-24. It would be interesting to see the stats on how many of those are students?????

    So many graduates go overseas due to bad wages, so the arguement of the wage at the end being the ultimate incentive for students should be enough is flawed. So much money is pumped into overseas recruiting (especially in health) because this country does not have enough graduates to fill the positions, and so many of them leave. Maybe a student allowance would decrease the loan taken out for cost of living and ultimatly cut the loan and need to move overseas, possibly (in an ideal world) cut the cost of overseas recruitment drives!!

    I do not think that everybody everywhere should be entitled to a student allowance however. Maybe the should be conditional, so we know that they have not been wasted, like in the UK, do not have to pay them back if you complete your degree, but if you waste everybody’s time and drop out then pay it back. I do not think that the disgustingly richkids who are living off mum and dad should also receive a student allowance at the same time. Its an insult to those scraping by. However this would be hard to monitior, bank statements vs cash etc. But I do believe that the age should definately be lowered and the income threshold much higher, as it is the people on the threshold who are financailly struggling the most.

    And finallly, if some of these fatcats who are causing such a stir with talks of policies in order to gain votes (which is unfortunately what politics is about) decided to travel economy, and star in 3stars rather than 5, and maybe left their pay rises out of the budget, then maybe, just maybe, there would be a little more going to fund such things.

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