Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
448. Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Education and Science when allowances including travel allowances are expected to be increased for vocational training opportunities scheme students; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21389/09]
Minister of State at the Department of Education and Science (Deputy Seán Haughey): VTOS students are paid a training allowance in lieu of their previous qualifying social welfare payment, at a rate equivalent to the maximum rate of jobseekers benefit. Students retain their social welfare secondary benefits and may also receive a payment for an adult or child dependant if appropriate. Social welfare rates are determined in the annual Government Budget.
VTOS students in receipt of their social welfare payment for one year prior to course commencement also receive a weekly training bonus of €31.80. Students are entitled to a meal allowance and a travel allowance if they reside more than 3 miles from a centre. These allowances are equivalent to those paid to participants on FÁS training courses and are set in line with those rates. There are currently no plans to increase these allowances.
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