Seanad debates

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Student Accommodation

12:00 pm

Photo of Mary FitzpatrickMary Fitzpatrick (Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister of State for his reply. I accept and welcome the innovations that the Government has made in enabling the TUs, the consideration of the affordable cost-rental model, the other innovations in the capping and limiting of the rents and upfront payments and the reduction of the notice periods. We have to go further, however, to fully ensure that any of the purpose-built student accommodation that has been built is hit with a vacant property tax if it is not being used and that students who are struggling financially are supported through the assistance funds which are in place. The Government and the Minister of State need to be ambitious to ensure that every person and citizen in our society has access to third-level education.

Education makes people smarter and better and enables people to make better choices for themselves, to live smarter and better and to make a greater contribution, not just to their own immediate community and family but to our society at large. We have the proof of the value of investment in education. As we move out of Covid-19, let us make an investment in our future to ensure that every citizen has access to third-level education that is affordable and, ideally, free.


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