The 2022 budget has come out today and everything from taxation to climate measures were accounted for. But, what has changed for students? This is everything you need to know about the budget 2022.
Firstly, Minister for Expenditure Michael McGrath announced that €3.7 billion is being allocated for the Higher Education, Further Education and Training, Research and Innovation sectors. He stated that a further €68 million is being provided in additional investment in the Higher Education sector, including an additional 3,320 CAO places arising from this year's Leaving Certificate
The SUSI scheme is to be expanded for the first time in a decade as the maintenance grant will be increased by €200. This is the first such increase since 2012, and is impacting around 60,000 students. There will be €35 million in additional funding to support students in meeting the costs of going to higher education and dealing with the impacts of Covid-19.
More people will now qualify for the SUSI grant as Mcgrath says; "This funding will also improve eligibility by expanding the qualifying income thresholds by €1,000 and reducing the qualifying distance to qualify for the non-adjacent rate from 45km to 30km."
The €200 contribution fee for post-Leaving Certificate courses will also be abolished.
Away from further education, minimum wage has gone up by 30c to €10.50 per hour. Excise duty on a pack of cigarettes has also gone up by 50c. As well as that women aged 17-25 will be able to get free contraception from next August.
As society slowly returns to normality more needs to be done in the further education sector to accommodate for the last 18 months. From the first glance, it looks like more may have been done but we will have to wait and see this investment come into effect.