Most grants due in weeks, claims Quinn
The majority of 3,700 third-level students awaiting grants will be paid within two weeks, Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has said.
He said 47,674 decisions had been made, compared with 40,513 at the same time last year. “Although this does not take away from the delays experienced prior to Christmas, it is welcome news.”
Fianna Fáil education spokesman Charlie McConalogue said many students were experiencing exceptional hardship.
“It is a disgrace that at a time when families and students face so many pressures, the primary cause of hardship for students has been the Government’s incompetence in failing to deliver student grants on time.”
Mr Quinn said of the “live” applications where documentation was still outstanding, approximately half of applicants returned incomplete documentation, while the other half were requested to submit supplementary documentation.
Mr McConalogue said TDs and members of student unions were able to show that many students, having supplied documentation, had been asked to produce it a second, third and a fourth time.
Replying to Sinn Féin spokesman Jonathan O’Brien, Mr Quinn said that last week Student Universal Support Ireland had received 4,042 appeals and decisions had been made in 2,665 cases.
He understood staff had been reassigned to the processing of appeals.