Fair deal for regional students

MORE work is needed to give students from regional areas a fair deal on student income support, despite a breakthrough in youth allowance negotiations yesterday.

That was the claim of Federal member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker after the Federal Minister for Education Julia Gillard revised her proposed changes to Youth Allowance, which will now enable 2010 students to access Commonwealth scholarships.

Mr Hartsuyker said the Rudd Government’s proposed changes to Independent Youth Allowance eligibility would no longer be retrospective meaning students who completed their gap year in 2009 will be assessed against the existing guidelines.

“This is a big win for those students who last year, in good faith, decided to work for a year before commencing their studies,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“They will be able to claim the independent allowance by meeting the current criteria of working 15 hours a week for two years or by earning $19,532 over an 18-month period.”

However, Mr Hartsuyker said the proposed legislation still needed fine tuning.



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