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Grants debacle a shocking indictment of a government that’s turned it’s back on disadvantaged communities – Doherty

25 May, 2010 - by Pearse Doherty TD


Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Education Senator Pearse Doherty has said the fact that some 3,436 student grant applicants are still awaiting decisions by Vocational Educational Committees on their grant application for this current academic year, is a shocking indictment of a government which has turned its back on disadvantaged communities.

Senator Doherty said:

“News reports today announced that some 3,436 grant applicants are still awaiting decisions by Vocational Educational Committees on their grant applications. This is on top of the 1,960 applications that local authorities were still considering at the end of March.

“This is a totally obscene situation that pupils are still waiting on their grants at the end of May, when colleges are closing up for the summer. These students have been left to stew for some eight months without any grant assistance, possibly scraping by on a pittance or taking out loans.

“This ridiculous situation is an indictment of a government which has turned its back on disadvantaged communities. They did it when they hiked up the student registration fee, they did it when they removed the eligibility criteria for the grant for those on the Back to Education Allowance and they have done it and are continuing to do it through this shambles of a grants system.

“The government and the Minister for Education need to sort out this mess. To have this many students still waiting on their grant after eight months is nothing short of a scandal.” ENDS

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