How do the changes affect students from 1 April 2018?
- Accommodation Benefit amounts will increase. The Accommodation Benefit is a supplement to Student Allowance payments recognising the accommodation costs of students who do not live at home.
- Increases to the personal income tax thresholds will mean that working students may receive a higher after-tax income from work.
- Students with dependent children aged under 16 receiving a Student Allowance will benefit from increases to the rates of the Family Tax Credit.
- Sole parent students, and students who do not qualify for a Student Allowance for reasons other than income (such as studying a postgraduate course), may benefit from increases to the maximum rates of Accommodation Supplement.
How will these changes affect students' incomes?
Around 41,000 students will receive more assistance for accommodation costs as a result of an increase in the Accommodation Benefit rate. Around 26,000 students who live in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch will receive a $20 per week increase. In areas with relatively lower accommodation costs, such as Hamilton and Palmerston North, the increase to the maximum rate will be lower.