Yesterday, 19th June – the Union of Students in Ireland launched the Pre-Budget Submission document ahead of Budget 2020.
In the submission, USI outlined that investment is immediately needed in the following areas:
- Access & Inclusion
- Health (mental & sexual)
- Action on Climate Change
Yesterday’s lobby day saw over 60 student leaders speak to upwards of 145 TD’s and Senators on what funding needs to be made available to the sectors that affect students.
USI President Síona Cahill and President-Elect Lorna Fitzpatrick spoke on the Pre-Budget Submission stating:
“Following Brexit, students in Ireland will be forced to pay the highest third level fees in the EU.
Accommodation costs and the cost of living has soared, while financial support available for students has remained stagnant – these issues are connected and are placing students and their families in extremely challenging financial situations.
Students and their families suffered years of austerity and cutbacks during the crisis – but that has given way to years of neglect and indecision. The crisis never ended.
The higher education sector has seen a managed decline in funding over the past decade, and struggled to maintain it’s high standard. The position taken by the Government to invest in competition-based funding, over core funding – has resulted in the sector being squeezed to crisis point with little sustainable or strategic vision.
We’re being told Ireland is “bouncing back” and is “in recovery”, but that has not been the reality of a tertiary education sector, vital to societal and economic growth – left on a cliff edge.
Access to education also means access to suitable and affordable accommodation while studying. You may be forgiven for thinking that there is plenty of rooms being built, however that is not the case. What is in fact luxury student accommodation being developed can cost upwards of €1,000 per month. This is not acceptable. It is not what students or their families want or can afford, and is severely restricting access for the most marginalised groups in particular – across every community and constituency in Ireland.
The proposals in this submission, if implemented in Budget 2020, would have a significant impact on the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of students and their families. We encourage you to support our recommendations and we look forward to discussing them further with you.
Demand a better future.”
Find the full Pre-Budget Submission HERE