Neeson asks Empey to ease the burden of debt on local students

Alliance MLA Séan Neeson today during DEL Ministerial questions asked Reg Empey what plans he has to help debt-hit local students. Mr Neeson asked the Minister whether he plans to increase the salary threshold at which graduates must start making student loan repayments.

The East Antrim Assembly Member said: “£15,000 is not a particularly high salary in modern terms, and loan repayments coupled with other student debts can put a real strain on our graduates.

“Secondly, if young people want to get on the property ladder, the fact that such repayments have to be made on a relatively low salary can hamper their chances of buying a home. The property market in Northern Ireland presents our young people with enough problems as it is with them having to take into account student loan payments.

“Northern Ireland should be looking to Scotland’s example in relation to tuition fees. The Minister must examine the removal of tuition fees and the restructuring of student loans to ease the massive burden of debt placed on our graduates.


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