SINN Fein councillor Seamus Morris has stated that he supports the Union of Students Stop Fees, Save the Grant campaign, which is about ensuring that access to third level education remains a right not a privilege.
“As the USI rightly points out, being able to obtain a quality education is a vital prerequisite to kick starting Ireland’s economic recovery. Despite this the Fine Gael / Labour Government continues to target education by implementing the same policies as their predecessors by effectively implementing collective punishment on the ordinary people for the failures of our capitalist banking system,” he said.
Cllr Morris accused Labour Junior Minister Alan Kelly of doing a “u-turn on his pre-election promise not to cut fees. It certainly isn’t Labour’s way or Frankfurt’s way as we were promised by Eamon Gilmore.”
He encouraged encourage those who believe in an equitable and fair education to support the USI campaign.
“As we approach December’s Budget,a the Government has already made clear that they intend to make sweeping cuts to a whole range of services. Education is the third highest spending department and there are fears that Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn will further increase the student contribution fee in a move that will have a significant impact on low and middle-income families and mature students. This, of course, goes against the very same people that Labour purports to represent,” he said.
He further warned: “It is a policy that is short-sighted and will do nothing to kick start the economy. If registration fees increase, and mature student grants abandoned, then a growing number of people will be forced out of college and on to the dole.”