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Gilmore must rule out introduction of Fine Gael’s Graduate Tax

24 August, 2010 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Dublin Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has called on Labour leader Eamon Gilmore to rule out the introduction of a Graduate Tax for students as proposed by Fine Gael.

Speaking today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said a graduate tax is fees through the back door and the Labour Party needs to make clear its position on the issue ahead of a general election so that students and parents can make an informed decision.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“A graduate tax is the reintroduction of student fees through the back door where students will be forced to pay for their education after they graduate from college leaving them with huge debts as they enter the labour market.

“This is currently the policy favoured by the Fine Gael party, Labour’s party of choice for coalition after the next general election.

“Sinn Féin is opposed to the reintroduction of student fees whether they come through the back door or the front. Instead we believe that education should be paid for through a fair and progressive taxation system that doesn’t include the current loopholes that allow some of the richest people in the country to avoid paying their fair share.

“Minister Mary Coughlan has publicly ruled out the reintroduction of student fees but has not commented on the proposal to introduce a graduate tax. She must make the Government’s position clear.

“The Labour Party must also make its position clear. If they are to enter into Government with Fine Gael after the next election will they support the introduction of a graduate tax or will they oppose it.

“Eamon Gilmore needs to make his position clear on this so that students and parents can make an informed decision at the next general election.” ENDS

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