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Parliamentary Question re: Means Assessment for SUSI Grants

Ceist Pharlaiminte

Chun an Aire Oideachais agus Eolaíoctha
To the Minister for Education and Science

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills with regard to means testing for
Student Universal Support Ireland grants, if consideration will be given to an
applicants outgoings as well as income, particularly in cases where it can be
proven that a large proportion of an applicants assessed income is used to
serve residual bank debt and failure to secure a SUSI grant would cause the
applicant undue hardship; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
– Anthony Lawlor.

* For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 6th May, 2015.
Reference Number: 17822/15

Freagra

Minister Jan O’Sullivan

Student grant applications are means tested on gross income from all sources
earned inside and outside the State within a specified reference period.

The means test arrangements of the Student Grant Scheme are applied nationally
on the same basis to both employed and self-employed applicants. Gross income
before the deduction of income tax or universal social charge, is assessed with
certain specified social welfare and health service executive payments
excluded.

Therefore, the assessment of income from the same starting point is deemed to
be fair and reasonable because this approach eliminates any distortion which
might arise from different spending decisions in different households.