Local Fianna Fáil TD Brendan Smith has called for all higher education students to be able to avail of the Government's €1,000 cut in student contribution fees. Speaking in the Dáil last week, Deputy Smith welcomed the decision by his party colleague, Minister for Finance Michael McGrath to reduce higher education student contribution fees by €1,000 as part of the Government's cost of living measures.
He said last year, students studying outside our jurisdiction, be it in Northern Ireland, Britain or elsewhere, were wrongly denied this payment and, similarly, were denied the rent tax credit as well.
The Cavan Monaghan TD said whatever obstacles exist to ensuring those two benefits are applied to all students from the State should be removed without delay. The local TD said we must ensure a level playing field for all students.
Speaking to Northern Sound, Deputy Smith continued; "It is well within the capacity of Government, if the will is there, to ensure that all students can avail of this reduced fee.
"If we are serious about student mobility, our administrative systems must adapt and change and ensure a level playing field for all students. Families here, regardless of their children's study location, have similar cost-of-living pressures."
Tánaiste and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, in response, told Deputy Smith he would "talk" to ministers to see what can be done to resolve the matter.