Gilmore “disingenuous” on student fees: Adams
Reiterating his party's stance on third level fees, Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams TD, said today:
"Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore speaking in the Dáil on Wednesday was entirely disingenuous in seeking to cloud the issue of his party’s betrayal of election pledges by referring to student fees in the North. Indeed it is pathetic that the leader of the Irish Labour Party would use a British Tory position on student fees in this way.
"For the record, Sinn Féin opposed, tooth and nail, the introduction of students fees by the British Government and by the previous UUP/SDLP led administration. We have consistently opposed them in the Executive at every opportunity.
"Earlier this year with others we succeeded in imposing a cap on students fees for those studying in the north including for students from the rest of the island.
"Of course the Tánaiste is fully aware of all of this and of the fact that in the North, unlike in this state, the local administration does not have fiscal powers. Indeed it is ironic that at a time when Sinn Féin in the north is attempting to wrest such powers from London, Mr Gilmore’s party is acquiescing in a position where Irish economic and fiscal powers are given away to the EU and IMF.
"Education Minister Ruairi Quinn, TD, and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore should now honour Labour’s pre-election pledge that there will be no increase in fees or cuts to the maintenance grant. Sinn Féin also rejects any attempt by the Government to abolish support for postgraduate students or cuts to student supports."