Students say $20 allowance increase a cost-of-living 'band-aid'

Mon, Mar 20

The Government's cost-of-living announcement of a $20 increase to student allowances and or student loan living cost payments has been dubbed a "band-aid solution" by students.

New changes were announced this week to help ease the load on students. From April, the living loan payment will increase from $280 to $300 for those under 24.

Two students who spoke to 1News felt that more relief was needed.

Pauline Ableda and Daniella Gibson are two commerce students who share a Wellington flat that costs them more than $300 per week each.

"It's so hard to live the student life, because you have to do so much just to live," Ableda said.

The pair have had to do their own renovations to make their flat habitable, while also working part-time jobs and studying full-time.

The New Zealand Union of Student Associations' (NZUSA) president Ellen Dixon told 1News that the new support wasn't enough.

"I don't really think that $20 is something that is considered significant change," she said.

Some students are forced to work multiple jobs, while others are worried they'll have to give up studying entirely.

"The impact is not being able to have good food, not be able to be in decent living situations, and questioning whether or not your education comes ahead of your ability to eat," the NZUSA's president said.