The Green Party has called for clarification over alternative support for students if proposals by the Finance Minister to scrap the student rate relief scheme goes ahead.
Green Party South Belfast spokesperson Adam McGibbon said: “Although the rates relief system is far from perfect, Sammy Wilson should clarify what form of alternative student support he intends to replace the relief system. Is the Minister intending to go down the road that will increase financial pressure on students by increasing rents?
“As students in England, Scotland and Wales are not required to pay council tax, it seems Minister Wilson would like Northern Ireland students to be saddled with more financial pressure in a time of increasing tuition fees and recession, when young people are finding it increasing difficult to find part time work.”
The Green Party also questions how this comment fits in with the comments of other DUP representatives recently, who lament the ‘brain drain’ – Northern Irish students going abroad to study – while the Finance Minister takes actions that will place extra costs on students studying here.