‘Third Level Fees must be a Red Line Issue in Government Negotiations’ – USI

‘Third Level Fees must be a Red Line Issue in Government Negotiations’ – USI 

The Union of Student in Ireland (USI) has warned that third level fees must be a red line issue during Government negotiations ahead of the inception of the 31st Dáil. 

In the run up to the general election, Labour Party signed a USI pledge stating “if elected, I will oppose and campaign against any new form of third level fees including student loans, graduate taxes and any further increase in the Student Contribution”.

These commitments must be honored if Ireland is to have any chance of emerging from the current economic crisis.

In the UK, the Liberal Democrats are suffering the consequences of reneging on clear promises made about education. The students of Ireland will similarly not forget if the Labour Party fails to fulfill its promises.

USI is committed to fighting for the preservation of Ireland’s Higher Education system, so that people from all backgrounds have the opportunity to attend Third Level in the future. 

USI President, Gary Redmond, said:

“Higher Education, and the up-skilling of the people of Ireland, must be a priority for the future Government of this country. Any introduction of third level fees, whether it is in the form of a graduate tax or student loan system, will only discourage thousands of people from entering college.

Now that the election is over and the business of forming a government is underway, all Labour Party TDs must not forget the promises which were made during their General Election campaign. Many students, and others who care about education, were influenced by your party’s commitments to education. Across the Irish Sea, the Liberal Democrats have faced huge slumps in opinion after reneging on key election promise.

The incoming government must ensure that access to education is increased, so that young people are given the opportunity to gain the necessary skills to build a better life for themselves and to play a part in the recovery of Ireland’s economy.

Ends.

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