Thursday, 7 March 2013

Questions (16)

Michelle Mulherin


16. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will consider changing the student grant scheme in order that mortgage repayments are considered in the means test for grant eligibility in view of the increasing number of families that have suffered drastic reductions in means under the burden of substantial home mortgage payments that have not reduced or that may have increased as a result of recent hikes in interest rates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11762/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Student grant applications are means tested on gross income from all sources earned inside and outside the State within a specified reference period. 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. In the interest of equity, I have no plans to change this arrangement.