Working students deserve fair treatment as we exit Covid – Rose Conway-Walsh TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Further and Higher Education Rose Conway-Walsh TD has voiced concern regarding government plans to remove PUP for students in September.
Teachta Conway-Walsh said:
“Students that lost work as a result of the pandemic are no less worthy that any other group of workers.
“Whether September is a suitable time to withdraw the PUP payment from students will be determined by the speed and success of the reopening of the economy.
“Sinn Féin believes that the withdrawal of supports needs to be attached to the reopening rather than setting arbitrary dates.
“Working students like all workers want to get back to work and ensure they can pay rent and put food on the table. Supports can only be removed if the jobs are there for students to go back to.
“What is unacceptable is the current situation where working students are being pushed out of SUSI because they accepted the PUP payment – a PUP payment that will cease when they start college in September.
“If the government are singling out students now to remove the PUP payment at the start of the academic year then they need to address the unfairness in relation to SUSI applicants.
“No one should be disadvantaged for accepting PUP – including working students.
“At a minimum, the €4,500 holiday income disregard should be applied to PUP so that students are treated the same as if they were working.
“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.
“This needs to be done as a matter of urgency as students across the state waiting to find out if they will be able to afford to attend college in September."