[Sinn Fein]

13th February 2002


CAB report damming indictment of student poverty

Sinn Fein Employment and Learning Spokesperson, Mid Ulster MLA John Kelly, has said the report on student poverty by the Association of Citizen Advice Bureaux is a damming indictment.

Mr Kelly said:

"It is totally unacceptable that we have a system of financial support for our students that forces them to live below the bread line. It is time that the Carmel Hanna woke up to the fact that she has not got it right. The previous minister Sean Farren ignored the evidence and despite having 65 million to alleviate student poverty the fact is that for many students nothing has changed.

"We need an end to student fees and the re-introduction of the maintenance grant. Carmel Hanna should reassess the student support package produced by her colleague and consign it to the dustbin because, quite simply, it is not working.

"The link between depression and debt and between working long hours and poor results demand that we take urgent action on student poverty. We need to actively encourage participation from all social groups in our society in third level education and to make sure that people can get the maximum benefit from such opportunities."


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