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VUWSA Backtrack on Levy Hike

Matt Jones



The release of the VUWSA budget has been delayed yet again, this time in a scramble of cost-cutting that, if not effective, may lead to an increased student levy.
VUWSA President Nick Kelly says the financial situation of the organisation has led him to change his mind on the issue of raising the levy, after previously believing that it would be hypocritical for VUWSA to raise the levy while campaigning against rising University fees.
Former President Jeremy Greenbrook- Held acknowledges that VUWSA is stuck with increasing costs and a static income, but says “no matter which way you look at it [it is] a bit hypocritical.”
However, he says other solutions, such as reducing contributions made to the VUWSA trust and diversifying their income could be effective.
The budget, originally supposed to be released last Tuesday, is now due to be finalised today. Welfare Vice President Jules van Cruysen says that the reason for the further delay was “systemic” and beyond anyone’s control, but does not elaborate further, noting that the budget has not been released earlier than August for many years.
Costs are to be cut in the portfolios of clubs, activities, education and welfare as well as asking clubs and representative groups to do as much cost cutting as possible over the rest of the year. Kelly says that the budget cuts will not affect the fundamental running of VUWSA.
Exec members are not giving out any information over what the deficit was before the decision was made to make cuts, or what the deficit is likely to be after the cuts.
Rises in the levy could take the form of an inflation-adjusted measure or a set increase approved by a Student Representative Council meeting.