Free for publication on September 16, 2020
The increase in the meal subsidy in the current budget negotiations was important and necessary, but the Government must take real steps to improve the threadbare social security for students.
In its budget negotiations, the Government has decided to increase the meal subsidy for higher education students. EUR 4.2 million will be allocated for this purpose. The employment measures initially proposed, which would have weakened student financial aid, were not realized.
The meal subsidy will be increased by EUR 0.36 from January 2021. Meal subsidies are a well-targeted benefit for students, which it is important to safeguard. The increase is a vital helping hand for students. However, by increasing meal prices by a fifth, the Government has still left students out of pocket.
“In practice, the benefits of the Government’s previous indexing of student financial aid will be fully absorbed by the increase in meal prices. The investment in the meal subsidy is important, but the Government coalition parties’ stated aim of significantly raising the study grant still seems far off. During the last election, the Social Democratic Party, Greens, Left Alliance and Swedish People’s Party were still behind significant increases in the study grant. Sanna Marin’s Government cannot leave this unachieved.” Tapio Hautamäki, SYL’s President comments.
The budget negotiations included important investments in young people. SYL is gratified that, in these exceptional times, the Government is demonstrating support for youth organizations, whose funding has been secured for the next fiscal year.
Tapio Hautamäki, President
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