[Sinn Fein]

29 January 2001

Dublin City Council asked to back student grants campaign

Sinn Fein councillors are asking Dublin City Council - the largest local authority in Ireland - to support the campaign for increased third-level student grants.

Sinn Fein Councillor Larry O'Toole (Artane) has tabled a motion to next week's [Monday 5 February] meeting of Dublin City Council seeking backing 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.

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