Minister must provide clarity on Disability Grant cut to National Learning Network students – Sherlock

Seán Sherlock TD
11 November 2022

Labour Party Social Protection Spokesperson Seán Sherlock TD has demanded that Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys provide clarity to students on the decision to strip some National Learning Network students of the €500 Disability Support Grant that was announced in the Budget.

Deputy Sherlock said:

“The Minister must review this decision without delay and give these students clarity that they will be in receipt of the €500 Disability Support Grant as promised in September.

“Students who were planning to receive this grant, and made financial plans for that same payment, are devastated to learn that the Department has done a bureaucratic switcharoo in order not to pay the grant. These students are already in receipt of Disability Allowance, through the National Learning Network, and are as deserving to receive the €500 Grant.

“This is a cold and surprising decision for the Department to make and it must be reviewed with a view to reversal now by the Minister. Like everyone else in this country, these students are undergoing their studies during the height of a cost of living crisis. Every little bit helps to avoid students having to choose between heating and eating.

“The surprising manner in which this decision was communicated is already causing heartache and anxiety for these individuals who received a letter from the Department over the last 24 hours. This is no way to do business.

“People should expect that the Government will be good to their word. This payment was already factored into people’s budgets for the winter months. It’s not good enough for the Minister to belatedly change her mind. The Minister must act and provide certainty to all those expecting a €500 Disability Support Grant.”

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