And more, What this Fianna Gael Fail Government, Wont, Tell the People of Ireland; over 200 Ukranians, Slept in Garda Stations, across Dublin City, last night. What a fucking, Shambles?

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Pensioners who rent out rooms ‘fear losing their medical card’

 27th August 2022

Pensioners are discouraged from renting out rooms to students as they fear they will lose their medical card, a Fine Gael Senator has warned.

Senator Maria Byrne announced that she is working with the Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris to examine the possibility of including a provision under the rent-a-room scheme for pensioners who wish to retain their medical card.

Currently, the weekly gross medical card income threshold is €550 per week for a single person and €1,050 for a couple

“The anecdotal evidence I am receiving from pensioners is that some who wish to rent a room are discouraged from doing so due to potentially going above the medical card income threshold,” Senator Byrne said. 

“Students and pensioners would jointly benefit from an income disregard whereby a certain amount of income from a particular source, the rent a room scheme in this case, is not considered. Ultimately, this would avoid interference with the medical card income threshold.

“The weekly gross medical card income threshold was increased in 2020 for those aged 70 and while this was a positive development in relation to healthcare for the elderly, we don’t want a situation where pensioners feel impeded from renting out a room during the current student housing crisis.”

Senator Byrne said a “flexible approach” to student housing is needed

“We must ensure that pensioners willing to rent a room are not met with obstacles,” she added. 

“It is imperative that we resolve this issue as soon as possible and remove what could potentially be an obstacle to increasing accommodation for students.”

This comes as student union’s across the country are appealing for homeowners to rent out rooms for students, as accommodation is hard to come by. 

University College Dublin (UCD) Student Union said the lack of available accommodation for students has created a “higher education catastrophe”. 

It said as a result of the “failure of successive Governments” to address this issue, the on-campus experience of a growing number of third-level students are “at risk”.

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