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Students are ready and equipped to face down any attempt to cut the student maintenance grant in this year’s Budget.

Responding to newspaper reports that Student Maintenance Grants are likely to be cut in October’s budget, USI President Joe O’Connor said “Let there be no doubt that our members will organise and firmly oppose any attempt to further cut the maintenance grant. The Government and Minister Quinn must be aware that students will not take this lying down, and will take their opposition to the streets, to constituency offices and to the ballot box.

Earlier this week, the USI announced the Student Electoral Registration Database (SERD) ahead of a massive planned voter registration drive. 50,000 student voters will be registered this year, joining 120,000+ students already on the electoral register. These voters will be connected directly with their local politicians through a high-tech database management and communication tool.

USI’s National Campaign, ‘Fight For Your Future Now’, was also launched this week, which will see students right across the country display vigorous opposition to any attempts to further target third-level student supports by the Government.

“Students and families are already at breaking point, and the cost of college continues to increase. This week, an ILCU survey showed that 84% of families are already struggling to meet the cost of third level.

“75,000 students and their families depend on the grant each year, a grant that has been targeted in each of the last four Budgets. Any further cut to the grant will push these struggling families over the edge.

“SERD, launched by USI this week, will mobilise these students and their families, creating a block of over 200,000 votes that will be ready to punish any attempt to target struggling students in the upcoming budget”.

Note: USI President Joe O’Connor will be attending the ‘March for Marriage’ in Dublin City Centre this afternoon and will be available for comment.

For more information contact USI Communications & Research Executive Grainne O’Reilly on 087-6776636, or 01-9052100

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