This is an article I had published in the Irish Times ten years ago (October 22 2002) about who exactly bore the brunt of college fees. Interesting that same old chestnut about the abolition of fees not helping the poor is widely promoted in newspapers today reporting on a new ESRI report on the subject. The point of the abolition of fees was never about abolition fees for the poor because at the time poor students didn't have to pay for fees once they qualified for the Higher Education Grant which then as today was means tested. And of course not just the poor get grants other sectors and counties do very well when it comes to our grant system too, but not middle income families who PAYE their tax. My point is as relevant today - call the return of fees what you will - fees/loan/graduate tax, it's those in the middle, not the rich, that will suffer.
Deputy Joanna Tuffy: I am sharing time with Deputies Anne Ferris and Ciara Conway.
I wish to put on record my opposition to the gender quota proposals in this legislation. My first reason for opposing the provisions is that they are very likely to be unconstitutional. They appear to be against many provisions in the Constitution. Second, I believe they are undemocratic and, third, I believe they are discriminatory. Those are my grounds for objecting to the proposals.
Transcript of my Dail Speech today on the Electoral Bill and the cutting of TDs:
Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2010: Second Stage (Resumed) Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Deputy Joanna Tuffy: I am sharing two minutes of with Deputy Michael McCarthy. I thank Deputy Troy for his generosity in sharing time. Given the fundamental nature of this legislation we should have been given more time on Second Stage to allow us to express a diversity of opinions.