Exclusion of students on PUP from SUSI must be urgently addressed - Rose Conway-Walsh TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Further and Higher Education Rose Conway-Walsh TD in the Dáil today called on the Tánaiste to ensure that students are not unfairly punished for accepting the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
Teachta Conway-Walsh said:
“It is unacceptable that students are being pushed out and denied SUSI grants because they have accepted the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
“No one should be penalised for accepting the PUP, especially not working students that lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic.
“If these students were working as normal or under the EWSS, they would be entitled to deduct holiday earnings of €4,500 when applying to SUSI.
“At the very least, this deduction should be applied to the PUP for students.
“It is telling that the Department of Further and Higher Education only anticipates a demand for SUSI for this year the in line with 2019 despite the state being in lockdown for much of the year and so many people out of work.
"This only adds up if many other students will be pushed out of qualifying for SUSI as a result of accepting the PUP when they lost employment.
“I welcome the Tánaiste's response to me today that recognises there is a real problem here of and that Minister Harris will review the matter.
“This needs to be done as a matter of urgency as students across the state a waiting to find out if they will be able to afford to attend college in September.
“The government must urgently empower SUSI to carry out reviews on a case-by-case basis to ensure no one is unfairly disadvantaged."