Budget 2024: Student initiatives

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10th October, the Irish Governments annual Budget was released. The Budget is their financial plan for how the country will manage money for the upcoming year. All initiatives relating to higher level education students have been listed below. For the full Budget 2024 please see their website here. 

Student Finance  

  • Students from families with an income of less than €100,000 will have college fees for undergraduate students halved to €1,500. Others will see college fees for full-time UG cut by €1,000. From September 2024 student contribution fees will be abolished for all incomes under €55,924 
  • Student grants will increase by €300 from January 2024; meaning the highest student grant will rise from €6,971 to €7,313. Postgraduate maintenance grants will be fully restored for the next academic year for the first time since the financial crash.  
  • SUSI grant increase on non-adjacent maintenance by €615. Adjacent rate to increase by 10%. 
  • The removal of Post Leaving Cert (PLC) fees from September 2024 
  • €60m will reportedly be allocated to “address sustainable funding” of higher education, as well as increasing capacity for medicine places.  
  • An additional €8.1m will go to the Student Assistance Fund, bringing the total to over €17m. 
  • Nothing has been said yet in relation to increasing IRC/SFI stipends for PhD researchers. Minister Harris has indicated that there may be information to come on this at a Budget Briefing on Thursday 10th October.   

 

Accommodation/Housing  

  • The rent tax credit will be increased from €500 to €750. Reports suggest that parents who pay for their child’s tenancy will also be allowed to claim the credit. Landlords will benefit from a tax break worth between €600 to €1,000. It will go up every year that they stay in the market to 2027. The full year cost of income relief for landlords €160m, while the cost of the expanded rent credit is €88m.  
  • Parents who pay for their children’s rental accommodation or “digs” are now eligible to claim the rent tax credit. This change will also apply retrospectively to the years 2022 and 2023. 
  • No change to the “Rent a Room” Relief Scheme Criteria and no sign of “digs” regulation to protect vulnerable students.  
  • Nothing has been said in relation to the provision of on-campus or affordable, purpose built student accommodation.  

 

Student cost of living  

  • Minimum Wage increased to €12.70 per hour (up by €1.40). 
  • No clarity on whether the Government will abolish sub-minimum wage rates for workers aged 17,18 and 19.  
  • 50% public transport fare cut for young people will be extended to 25-year-olds.  

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