Independent election candidate Ryan Stewart has slammed Mary Coughlan and Labour over the 20-year plan for education and new fees for students.
Stewart said today: “The fact that the Education minister has endorsed this report has shown how easy it is for this government to pass the buck. In August, the Tánaiste ruled out a return of tuition fees for students, yet now she has endorsed this report, but she has now put the onus on the next government to make the decision on it.
“The worrying aspect of this is that Ruairi Quinn, who is Labour’s spokesperson on Education has also endorsed a return of tuition fees, stating that the due to the findings of the report, ‘any government would be mad not to take it,’ and suggesting that there was no other solution.
“Arguments have been made for students to contribute to their education, and while I can understand this argument, we cannot forget that graduates inevitably pay a higher rate of tax after graduation.
“As graduates earn around 60% more than non-graduates, this is where students can contribute; they pay the way for the next generation of students coming through. As student numbers gradually rise, the amount of tax paid collectively by graduates will also rise. But by implementing tuition fees, we take away the opportunity for those less well off, to benefit from a third level education, again promoting a two-tiered society.”
The Inishowen man insisted that a Student Loan scheme is not the way forward
He added: “The fact that Fianna Fail and Labour have both welcomed this report should be a warning to students and families alike.
“The apple does not fall far from the tree, and if Labour and Fine Gael are elected, tuition fees will become a reality, and they will have Fianna Fail support to push this through. The likes of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour will never get out of the mess we are in.”Tags: