TU Dublin Students’ Union reaction to Irish Government’s Lacklustre Support in Budget 2024

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As Budget 2024 was unveiled, students across Ireland were eagerly anticipating measures that would alleviate the soaring costs of higher education. While the Irish government did introduce some welcome one-off initiatives, the overall sentiment among students is frustration and disappointment. The measures introduced in the Budget fall short of addressing the pressing issues that have been plaguing students, particularly the student accommodation crisis.  

TU Dublin Students’ Union welcomes some aspects of Budget 2024; the reduction in the Student Contribution Charge by €1,000 and €1,500 (for families of income below 100k), the €750 tax relief for renters, the increases in the SUSI grant, and the raise in the minimum wage are steps in the right direction. These initiatives will help students who have been struggling with the extortionate costs associated with higher education. Postgraduate Maintenance Grants were restored for the next academic year, but there is a notable absence of support for PhD student stipends. Moreover, no provisions were made for Postgraduate students already within the system, leaving a significant gap in addressing their financial challenges. This omission underscores the feeling of students’ real concerns being ignored by the government. 

In response to the new Budget, Louise Kavanagh, Deputy President & Vice President for Communications and Media, TU Dublin Students’ Union said: 

“Once again, there was no real commitment shown to the students in Ireland. We welcome the restoration of maintenance grants to eligible Postgraduate Students however, we are really disappointed to see that the Postgraduate stipend was not increased. 

As representatives of TU Dublin students, we cannot help but express our deep disappointment with this Budget. The chance to allocate a fraction of the substantial Budget surplus to help the student accommodation crisis was missed. The accommodation issue needs to be addressed now, before we see more students drop out.”  

 

Even Minister Harris acknowledged in his statement, that these measures do not address the root problem.  

Budget 2024 lacks the necessary medium and long-term strategies to tackle the underlying issues that students face, particularly the student accommodation crisis.  

Alongside Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and other Students’ Unions, TU Dublin Students’ Union took concerns to the streets of Dublin recently to demand for the government to use the surplus in a more impactful way. The #ItsRainingNow protest appears to have been largely ignored. TU Dublin Students’ Union has pledged to maintain the pressure on the government, pushing for concrete action to address the student accommodation crisis and the overall escalating costs of pursuing higher education. The Students’ Union emphasizes the importance of all students registering to vote, and make their voices heard in future government elections. 

Responding to the Budget 2024 announcement Brian Jordan, President of TU Dublin Students’ Union said: 

“Budget 2024 was, as expected, a resounding disappointment – but hey, at least the Irish Government is consistent. They have consistently refused to permanently reduce student fees, meaning we live in constant fear as the next budget approaches. They have consistently failed to make a significant capital investment into student accommodation, meaning we live in constant fear of ever-worsening rental rates. And they have consistently ignored the pleas of PhD students, whose current stipends amount to less than minimum wage. 

To make matters worse, they’ve announced several once-off measures, that guess what, will not help future students, nor permanently solve any of the current crises here in Ireland. We are no closer to financial security, no closer to affordable accommodation, and no closer to feeling safe in the country we used to love. 

Our Union will not let this failure pass by quietly. We’ve already registered thousands of student voters over the past few weeks, and we’re going to register thousands more. And if the Government thinks we’ll remain silent as elections approach, then they’re even more incompetent than I thought.”  

 

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See link to Budget 2024 initiatives relating to students here.  

Register to vote in upcoming elections here. 

TU Dublin SU
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