Students new cash cow for government – Crowe
Sinn Féin’s education spokesperson, Seán Crowe TD, says the government is determined to turn students and parents into a handy cash cow, after the Taoiseach’s confirmation that third-level fees will likely increase incrementally over the next couple of years.
The Dublin South West TD was responding to comments made by Enda Kenny in support of education minister, Ruairí Quinn who, this week, told an audience of students in the University of Limerick that the registration fee paid by third-level students at the start of each year would be up by €250 next year and would likely keep increasing.
“The news that fees are to increase to €3,000 shows how cynical Ruairi Quinn was when he signed a USI pledge 12 months ago pledging not to increase student contribution fees.
“The Taoiseach justifies this hike by claiming a strong and vibrant third-level system needs to be paid for, but the reality is that any additional money made by cutting grants is unlikely to go into improving the standards of our universities and colleges.
“This is yet another tax on families who are already struggling to make ends meet and the government seems determined to ensure further education is the sole preserve of those who can afford high fees.
"It is ironic, that in the run-up to last year’s the election, we were told this was a ‘red line issue’ for the Labour Party. Twelve months later, Minister Quinn, far from reversing the €500 increase in the student contribution announced a further €250 increase in December’s budget, with more to follow.
“It is the least well off who are suffering the most as a result of this Government’s failed austerity measures.
This government seem determined to turn students and their parents into a handy cash cow that can be tapped into when they feel like it,” he concluded.