Dáil Éireann - Volume 620 - 31 May, 2006
Written Answers. - Grant Payments.
Mr. Timmins Mr. Timmins
Mr. Timmins asked the Minister for Education and Science if interest and Government top-up on SSIAs are taken into consideration when persons are applying for educational grants; and if so, the way in which people can access this as an income; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21269/06]
Ms Hanafin Ms Hanafin
Ms Hanafin: For the purposes of determining grant eligibility under my Department’s Maintenance Grants Schemes, all investments must be declared, including deposit accounts, savings certificates, life assurance bonds and other financial instruments where the interest/profit is accumulated and paid out as a lump sum at the end of the investment period.
The amount of income to be included in respect of Special Savings Incentive Accounts (SSIAs) is the government grant earned on the savings in the relevant tax year plus in the case of savings accounts, the gross interest earned in the relevant tax year, and in the case of investment accounts, the investment profit earned in the relevant tax year. Investment losses sustained in the relevant tax year are deductible.
Where income is paid out annually, as happens with a bank deposit account, the amount so paid is required to be included in reckonable income. Where income is not paid out annually but is “rolled-up” and paid out with the original investment at the end of a defined term, the annual amount required to be included in reckonable income is the “rolled-up” income divided by the number of years in the term of the investment. This procedure has been in place for the past ten years.
Given its similarity with “roll-up” savings products it was deemed appropriate to include, as reckonable income, income from SSIAs on an annual basis. The treatment of the SSIAs in this  regard is consistent with the treatment of similar financial products such as Post Office Savings Certificates.
Dáil Éireann 620 Written Answers. Grant Payments.