Matt Carthy to SUSI: “€46,661 is actually LESS than €54,240”
The Sinn Féin EU candidate for the Midlands North West constituency, Matt Carthy, has claimed that the centralised student grant administration system, SUSI, is still making basic mistakes which are causing distress to students and their families.
Carthy made his claims after a constituent received a letter from SUSI indicating that their application for a grant was denied on the basis that their means was over €54,240. This is despite the fact that the same letter indicated that SUSI had assessed reckonable income at €46,661.
“I cannot believe that I had to write to SUSI to explain to them that €46,661 is in fact lower than €54,240. This student has had to contact SUSI on more than one occasion to explain that both he, and his sister, were attending third level education and therefore both should be entitled to a 50% maintenance grant as income thresholds increase when more than one student from a household is attending college. I have also written to SUSI explaining the connection between the two students and asking for the grant to be issued.
“I am a member of the SUSI advisory group and I acknowledge that City of Dublin ETB and SUSI staff have been working hard to address the problems that plagued last years scheme. I had genuinely thought that we had moved on from the shambles that saw massive delays and inefficiencies in the administration of third level grants.
“On the face of it the letter this student received is a funny mistake. However, that hides the fact that the students in this family; and the many others that are put through hoops due to administrative errors, are in great financial difficulty while they await payment of their grant. Quite simply it is not good enough for any government agency to make mistakes of this nature,
“The Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, needs to address this situation. While occurrences like this are rarer than they had been twelve months ago the truth is that they shouldn’t be happening at all.”