The Inishowen TD claims the move will discriminate against hundreds farmers and self employed workers across Co Donegal.
Minister Ruairí Quinn has confirmed to Fianna Fáil that proposals include capital assets in the means-testing for third level grants are at an advanced stage.
Deputy McConalogue has described it as a retrograde step that will put third level education out of the reach of thousands of families.
“If this goes ahead, it will discriminate against hundreds of farming families and self employed workers in Donegal who are on low incomes and are dependent on state support to send their children to college,” said Deputy McConalogue.
“The fairest way to assess eligibility for third level grants is based on income and not on the not on the notional value of productive assets. There are so many families in Donegal who have land or a business that is earning very little in the current climate, and their low income means they are struggling financially.
“Including their capital assets in the means-testing for grants will give an inflated impression of their earnings, and will put them in an extremely difficult situation when it comes to third level costs.
“There is no doubt that this policy will put third level education out of the reach of many younger people from farming or self-employed backgrounds. The Minister must back away from his short sighted plans and recognise the difficult position that it would create for many farming and self employed families.”Tags: