Saturday, January 26, 2008

Living on $8.00 a week

Judy Turner makes an outrageous claim that the average student has $8.00 a week to live on after deducting rent.

She made this assumption on the basis that $150 is the amount of a student loan for living costs, less the average rent. She`s wrong. The average student on a student loan has access to more than $150 a week - or those that are eligible would be on a student allowance, possibly working for $150 at least until the allowance abates. The reason that the average student allowance is $70.00 is because of parental income and students having it abated due to working. They have to.

Instead of trying to score political points, Turner would be better off advising students that those eligible for student allowances can get $300 a week at least without having their allowance abated and they can access all the grants and allowances that beneficiaries can get.

Those on student loans can earn whatever they are able to. For example if you are working 30 hours a week and are sitting six papers, you can get the loan and invest it and live off your earnings and interest.

In fact, if any resident got $150 a week and paid $142 of it in accommodation, they would all be entitled to temporary accommodation assistance (TAS) from Studylink or Work and Income at the very least.

I will be writing to Turner about this. Students are getting a rough deal from this Government, but none have to live on $8.00 a week.


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