[Sinn Fein]

4 February 2001

Dublin City Council asked to back student grants campaign

Sinn Fein councillors are asking tomorrow night's (Monday night's) meeting of Dublin City Council to support the campaign for increased third-level student grants.

Sinn Fein Councillor Larry O'Toole (Artane) has tabled a motion seeking the backing of the largest local authority in Ireland for the Union of Students in Ireland in their call for the doubling of third-level grants from the current rate of 49 per week.

Cllr O'Toole said:

``Four out of ten students have to work at least 20 hours a week on top of their full-time studies to try and make ends meet.  Forty-nine pounds barely covers the cost of rent nowadays - how can anyone live on that?

``Students today are the workforce of tomorrow, not just for the Celtic Tiger in technology, business and industry but in healthcare and public services.  Investing in education now - across all the sectors - is investing in the future of the country and our people.''

Sinn Fein has also called for the Government to introduce special measures to increase student accommodation as part of a programme to address the overall housing crisis. ENDS

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