USI: 'This is a 'no budget' budget for students'

USI: 'This is a 'no budget' budget for students'

Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has said it is frustrated by today's Budget saying students have been ignored.

“We’ll see this Government at the ballot box,” said the USI as it expressed anger and frustration that the Budget did not deliver significant investment in third-level education nor alleviate the financial pressures students face.

They also said that measures to address the housing and homelessness crisis have "entirely failed to include the lack of accommodation for students that is affordable and of high quality".

The President of USI, Síona Cahill, said: “Our students continue to face the second highest fees in Europe, haven’t seen any grant increases since they were cut during austerity years, and now face an unprecedented crisis in the availability of accommodation and in the quality of living standards.

“The measures announced in this Budget for Higher Education amount to an abysmal investment of just €57 million, with almost half of that to address the pre-existing demographic bulge.

Student numbers continue to increase while buildings continue to crumble.

The USI also said it is "extremely disappointed" at the announced measures for the housing crisis, describing them as "barely a drop in the ocean" which has not included the need for the immediate building of Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) through capital investment grants to Higher Education Institutions.

Ms Cahill said: “6,000 students joined a 12,000 strong rally from across the country to demand a rent freeze and immediate regulation of a private rental sector that is seemingly out of control, and we also called for Government to commit strongly to the student body by investing in PBSA on campus at affordable rents.

"This Government have turned their back on those students in this Budget.

"This is a ‘no budget’ budget for students. This Government have decided who their electorate are, but we’ve registered 90,000+ students to vote in the last five years. They must be heard, and they’ll be heard at the ballot box.”

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