The Union of Students in Ireland is joining calls for an immediate general election, saying students have no confidence in the Government and now is the time for change, with Leo Varadkar announcing his resignation today.

Students have told USI clearly that they have no confidence in this Government to take the action that is badly needed on student issues, and Students’ Union officers voted in favour of a no-confidence motion at a recent national meeting.

With Taoiseach Varadkar stepping down as leader of Fine Gael and announcing his plan to resign as leader of the Government, the people should be given the chance to say who they want to run the country.

The students we represent have been left struggling by this Government, with students sleeping in cars, on sofas, dropping out, or working full-time jobs along with studying, because of the cost of accommodation and going to college.

And so, USI completely refutes Taoiseach Varadkar’s assertion that the economy and society is in a good place or that we are out of the cost-of-living crisis.

However, if there is no general election and Fine Gael is simply allowed to choose the next Taoiseach among themselves, USI will be watching the actions of the new leader and their cabinet very closely.

Students have four key demands that we need to see happen immediately and while politicians might think young people are too lazy to vote, we will prove them wrong at the next general election, if action is not taken.

A lack of action on these issues will directly impact how USI campaigns in the next general election and our message to this Government is loud and clear: Change or be changed.

USI’s four key demands for students:

  1. Complete overhaul of the student accommodation system and construction of affordable student accommodation.
  2. Permanently abolishing the Student Contribution Charge from budget 2025.
  3. A robust plan for a state-funded solution to the national housing crisis.
  4. Ending the Government’s complicity in the ongoing genocide in Gaza – directly intervening in the International Court of Justice case against Israel.