Student supports will help families, says MEP Walsh
A local MEP has welcomed the student and family support measures introduced as part of today’s Budget.
MEP Maria Walsh said she was delighted to see that families will receive help with the cost of college, with cuts to fees and increases in student grants.
The Fine Gael politician also welcomed other measures aimed at addressing families' concerns such as childcare, public transport, the cost of putting a child through school, and saving for a first home.
“As part of today’s Budget, all students will receive a once-off reduction of €1,000 in fees this year, regardless of income and effective immediately," detailed MEP Walsh. "Next year, a family earning less than €100,000 will see a permanent reduction of €500 in fees and any family earning under €62,000 will pay no more than €1,500 in fees due to changes in student grant rules. Furthermore, all student grant recipients will get a double payment, while PhD students will get a once-off cost-of-living payment before Christmas."
MEP Walsh also hailed the measures for supporting young children.
"Parents of younger children will benefit from free school books at primary level, with €47 million announced for the schoolbooks scheme from September 2023. There will also be a reduction in the 24:1 pupil-teacher ratio, while extra funding will be put in place for school transport to help resolve the situation where 6,000 pupils have been left without a ticket.
“All of these measures are very welcome, together with additional supports being put in place for families, such as the drop in childcare fees by an average of €1,200 per year, double payment for all welfare recipients in October, as well as the normal double payment at Christmas.
"The energy credit of €600 per family, and the €12 increase in core welfare payments, as well as an increase in the higher tax band, will give much-needed support to families,” continued MEP Walsh.