Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 30, No. 2. 1967.
"Prices of all kinds keep rising, and these include residence and dining-hall charges." This extract from an article, "What's worrying the Students" in the New Statesman of the February 17 issue illustrates that students at English Universities are faced with similar problems to ours.
Our problems have been greatly aggravated by the Government's recent economic measures. The withdrawal of subsidies will have a telling effect on the pocket of most students.
Let's examine the effect of the increase in the price of bread first. Using the last consumer price index, the student could be expected to spend at least 2/- a week on bread at the old prices. With the removal of subsidies, to buy the same amount of bread he will spend at least 4/6. This represents an additional cost of £4/10/- per university year.
With a weekly consumption of butter of a pound and a half per week, the student will now pay 1/3 extra a week or £2/4/- extra per university year. The increase in the cost of flour will probably cost the student £1 a year extra, but it is indirect effects which are more important.
There has also been an increase of a penny a piece in fish and chips, which on the basis of 2/- worth a week is an increase of 15/- per year.
If the student comes from outside Wellington he will have to pay something in the nature of £1/10/- extra in toll charges and, if he shares a flat with two others, one third of the £5/4/- the Post Office is now demanding of us for telephone rental. If the student sends parcels home this will probably cost him a pound more this year.
Because of their bread content sausages and saveloys are already 2d more per pound. Knowing the student's dependence on this kind of meat, this will cost about £1/10/- during the year.
These are the estimated direct effects. What about indirect effects? Ice cream because of its butter content will probably increase by about 4d a 2/- pack—cost to the students of 10/- extra a year. If biscuits rose 4d a packet, this would cost the student another 10/- during the year. Because the student is often forced to eat out, he becomes, the victim of the more unscrupulous manufacturer who is busy exploiting the removal of subsidies as an excuse to advance his own profits.
I surmise the increase in state house rentals may have some effect on rents for houses within the Wellington area, but the effect will be difficult to trace. In the same way the increase in interest rates on State Advances Loans will probably push urban rents up.
The whole purpose of these measures is to cut down the spending power of the population. The measures are a type of modern salt tax, in which the man on about £900 a year loses over six per cent of his income and a man on £3000 loses less than one per cent. How much worse off than the man on £000 is the student?