“For the second year running, there is a total absence of any Budget funding to help students cope with the rapidly escalating costs of going to third level by reducing fees or increasing access to SUSI grants.”

Students in schools and colleges have been snubbed in Budget 2019, Social Democrats’ Education Access and Equality Spokesman Cllr Gary Gannon said today.

Cllr Gannon said:

“For the second year running, there is a total absence of any Budget funding to help students cope with the rapidly escalating costs of going to third level by reducing fees or increasing access to SUSI grants. This year’s Budget also repeats the same pattern as last year, with no commitment to making primary and secondary school education genuinely free.

“Introducing genuinely free primary and secondary education would have cost €103.5m in a fully year at primary level, and €126 million in a full year in secondary level. This would mean that families would not have to cover the costs of textbooks and workbooks and schools would not have to look for voluntary contributions. It also would deliver free transport for students who qualify for the School Transport Scheme.

“The government chose to devote nearly €300million to tax cuts in Budget 2019 – but once more has overlooked investing properly to help children and young people fulfil their potential.”

ENDS

9th October 2018