The letter reads: “In order to progress the payment of the 1st installment of your grant, please arrange to submit by return a copy of the receipt issued in respect of the payment of the Household Charge. In the event that you do not have a copy to hand, please provide the following details so that we can confirm payment with the Household Charge Bureau.”
Applicants are then asked to supply the name of the registered owner of the property along with the owner’s PPS number with details of the date and amount paid.
In a statement on Morning Ireland the Council said: “Processing higher education grants is done at a cost to the council, and that it was its policy to ensure that benefactors of such services pay the household charge as required by law.”
USI President John Logue has, this morning, condemned the action of Clare County Council.
“The action taken by Clare County Council must be condemned in the strongest terms. This is an unprecedented move. Never have I heard of a grant being refused until proof of payment is offered for a completely unrelated tax owed by another person. Students are being punished for the decisions of their parents and their education is being put at risk,” stated Logue.
“This is a particularly cynical and craven way to manage a government. The Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn has denied any Departmental involvement, yet he has not criticised the move. Indeed, he expects other County Councils to follow suit. Once again Minister Quinn shows us that he is no friend of students. He is the best Fine Gael Minister for Education we’ve ever had…Students will not accept this.”
A student protest will be held outside Clare County Council offices in Ennis today, beginning at 2pm.
– James Grannell