Budget 2023 has been announced by the government and with that comes some significant changes for many students at the University of Galway.
The so-called ‘cost of living’ Budget is set to introduce a number of measures which will reduce fees, bolster student grants and provide targeted supports for the households most in need.
A total of €4.1 billion will be spent across a wide range of supports tackling the spiralling cost of living.
Here is a glance at this Budget’s impact on students.
A once-off €1,000 reduction in the €3,000 student contribution fee will be in place for this academic year.
This applies to undergraduates who qualify for the Free Fees Initiative (i.e. first time undergrads and those who have no postgraduate qualifications). It will also not apply to postgrad fees.
Students who have already paid fees in full can apply for a refund through the University.
There will also be a permanent reduction of €500 for households earning less than €100,000 and households earning less than €62,000 will pay no more than €1,500 in fees.
Support for postgrad fees under SUSI will permanently rise from €3,500 to €4,000 from September 2023.
Students in receipt of the student grant will benefit from a once-off double payment next year and PhD students will receive a cost of living payment before Christmas.
A €500 tax credit boost for renters will become available from 2023.
Student renters who aren’t earning enough to pay tax will not be eligible to receive the tax credit and it appears that parents will be unable to claim the tax credit on rent they are paying for their children’s accommodation.
Half-price public transport with Student and Young Adult Leap Cards has been extended through the end of 2023.
Eligibility for the Young Adult Card has been expanded to include 16, 17 and 18-year-olds in third level education.
Redevelopment plans for Ceannt Station in the city centre and Oranmore Train Station have received the go-ahead.
The government has committed to a €360 million per year package for investment into cycleways and greenways nationwide.
Excise on petrol and diesel will remain unchanged, keeping prices stable.
Recently launched measures to provide free contraception have been expanded to include all people who menstruate between the ages of 16 and 30.
The Minister of Health will however be seeking legal advice surrounding the lower end of that age bracket as 16 is below the age of sexual consent in Ireland.
All household will be granted a €600 electricity credit payment, paid in three equal instalments.
The first payment will arrive before Christmas with the final two coming in the new year.
At a glance
Parents can expect a double payment of the child benefit before Christmas. The cost of childcare will fall by an average of 25% through various measures.
The price of cigarettes will once again rise by 50c effective immediately. Excise on alcohol will remain unchanged.
VAT on newspapers will removed from 2023.