Tuesday 24 April 2018

Repayments could make life much tougher for many graduates as they begin their careers

Michael Taft of Unite. Pic Tom Burke
Michael Taft of Unite. Pic Tom Burke

Anne-Marie Walsh

Meeting repayments on the new student loan proposal would probably not push most graduates into destitution.

But it could make life much tougher for many, particularly those with other debt, at the very start of their careers. And for those who hope to buy their own home, it is likely to push back that day, as the repayments eat into their potential deposit savings.

The proposal to offer loans to students to pay higher fees suggests that repayment would be deferred until graduates started earning €26,000. This threshold would exclude those on the national minimum wage of €9.15 an hour, which equates with annual pay of €18,620 for a 39-hour week. It would also exclude those on the so-called living wage, which is higher, at €11.50 an hour, amounting to €23,402 a year.

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