Brendan Smith urges inclusion of cross-border third level students in €1,000 State fees support provision

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith has called on the Minister for Higher Education to examine the inclusion of students studying in Northern Ireland in the €1,000 State financial support towards student fees announced in the Budget.

Speaking to the Taoiseach in Dáil Eireann on the issue, Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “A welcome provision in the budget was the introduction of a €1,000 State financial support towards student fees. It is a once-off payment. Unfortunately, it is not applicable to students studying in Northern Ireland, Britain or outside our State. That is wrong. We have to encourage students to travel to study on a cross-Border basis. That should be revisited.

“There is also a welcome introduction of the rental tax credit of €500 to parents of third level students paying their child’s rent in a tenancy that is registered with the Residential Tenancies Board, RTB. That must be also applicable to students who are renting in registered accommodation outside our State.”

In response, Taoiseach Micheál Martin stated: “I understand Deputy Smith has very strong concerns as a border Deputy. He understands full well the implications. There could be complications around that, but I will have the matter examined in terms of what possibly can be done to support students. However, there are complications. I will have the matter examined.”