Despite there being no reference to the Student Contribution (Registration Fee) in last Tuesday’s budget, that does not mean the fee will remain the same next year.
Last year’s budget outlined an increase of €250 year-on-year for the next three years, bringing the fee up to €2,500 for this academic year, €2,750 next year and €3,000 in 2015.
This hike will cost students an extra €18.5 million next year alone, and by 2015 that figure will be €37 million.
The student grants remained untouched, and with 40 per cent of students in receipt of some form of student grant, this was the best news to come out of the budget for some.
Those aged 22 – 24 currently receiving jobseeker’s allowance of €144 per week will see it cut to €100 per week, bringing it in line with what people aged 18 – 21 already receive.
This has been seen as a blow to students in particular, who used to qualify for the higher rate aged 21, but will now have to wait until they are 25 to see a rise in their unemployment support. The allowance rises to €188 for people aged 26 and over.
“Young people are seen as a soft target, and these proposals threaten to hit hard those most in need of support. Social welfare payments to young people under 21 are already disproportionately lower at €100 per week”, said.Mary Cunningham, Director of the National Youth Council.
People in the workforce can expect no increase in income tax or the Universal Social Charge, while people who drive can expect the price of petrol, diesel or motor tax to remain the same in the coming year.
Wine saw an increase again this year, with 50c added to the price of every 75cl bottle from midnight on Budget Day. Pints and a measure of spirits have also gone up 10c, as has the price of twenty cigarettes.