New survey information was released by the Union of Students in Ireland today outlining student’s reactions to the Budget. 80% of students will vote for another party in the General Election after seeing the Budget priorities. 66.7% of students feel let down by the current government. 91% of students feel the government has not appropriately addressed student supports in the Budget.
The USI said the further €3 million secured for the SAF (student assistant fund) to support the most disadvantaged and the minimum wage raised by 50cent will help working students, however the lack of reintroducing postgraduate grants is disappointing. “Although the increase of €3 million for the SAF is a positive,” Kevin Donoghue, USI president, said “Not reintroducing the postgraduate grants is disappointing. Fine Gael hasn’t taken the opportunity to fully invest in young people. Education is an investment, not expenditure. Young people and their families have suffered enormously because of the cost of college and not having an education will have a ripple effect on their futures – from training, refining current skills and employability, education is a major factor in the structure of economic recovery.”
The budget has allocated €3m towards the SAF. This is split into two specific allocations: €1m in line with the USI pre-budget ask. €2m towards specific support for students who are considered vulnerable by virtue of background etc. Details as to the arrangements for the latter will be made available in the spring. €2m will also be available towards the creation of Technological Universities in Dublin, Munster, and the South-East.
Full Survey Results:
93.3% of students think the current government doesn’t prioritise education.
80% of students will vote for another party in the General Election after seeing the Budget priorities.
66.7% of students feel let down by the current government.
91% of students feel the government has not appropriately addressed student supports in the Budget.