News & Media

Backdate SUSI grant increases to September to tackle cost of living

12 October 2021

Statement by Senator Annie Hoey
Spokesperson on Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science
  • Cost of living crisis is right now, not next September
  • €250 emergency grant awarded last year should be reflected in this year’s payment

The proposed budget increases to the SUSI grant should be backdated to September for this college year said Labour spokesperson Annie Hoey, as the cost of living crisis is now, rather than waiting a further 11 months to deliver new supports.

Senator Hoey said:

“Student’s can’t wait until next September for the proposed €200 increase in the SUSI student maintenance grant. The extra payment is welcome but it should be brought forward to this academic year. If the government is really serious about tackling the rising cost of living then these measures must be backdated to the start of this college year.

“It’s important to remember that all students were granted a once off €250 emergency grant last year so in reality students this year are already down funding, and facing rapidly rising costs.

“The cost of living crisis is now with inflation leading to increased prices for heating, food, travel and rent. Students are commuting to college because they can’t find accommodation, and the extra funding would make a real difference now rather than in 11 months’ time.

“We do support the change in the income threshold with a lift of €1,000, and a reduction in the non-adjacent rate to 30km, but we had called for a much more significant package to also lower the student contribution fee by €1,000, and the adjacent rate to 24km.

“Making these long sought changes now to the grant system would mean more students can benefit this academic year. Government must ensure students are supported now and not kick the can down the road any further.”