Minister Quinn must not Renege on College Fees Pledge- USI


The Union of Student in Ireland (USI) has urged Minister for Education & Skills Ruairí Quinn to honour his pre-election pledge not to reintroduce third level fees.

In the run up to the general election, Minister Quinn signed a USI pledge on behalf of the Labour Party 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”.

USI is calling on Minister Quinn, who today refused to rule out an increase in college fees, to honour the commitment he made to thousands of students and families across the country.

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

USI is committed to fighting for the right of everyone in Ireland to a world class education, a right based on one’s ability and not on one’s financial circumstances.

USI Deputy President, John Logue, said:

“Young people turned out in unprecedented numbers to vote in the recent general election. Many of these young people were influenced in their decision by the Labour Party’s commitment, championed by Ruairi Quinn, not to reintroduce third level fees in any form.

Any deviation from this stance by the government would equate to a gross misleading of young people and their families by the Labour Party. This government assured us upon taking office that the era of cheap political point scoring was over. However, it appears little has changed since the Fine Gael/Labour Party coalition has taken over.

We are living in a time when a job can go wherever there is an internet connection. Dublin and Cork are competing with New Delhi and Kolkata and we require a highly skilled workforce in order to maintain our edge in the marketplace. The government must therefore encourage people to participate in higher education rather than close the door on them.”


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