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.
MINISTER for the Environment Phil Hogan has claimed that women and men that oppose gender quotas are part of "a conservative culture".
As a woman that opposes gender quotas, I think it is unfair of the minister to pigeon hole those that disagree with him on this issue.
He should respect the fact that those women and men that oppose gender quotas do want to see more women running for election.
The reason I oppose gender quotas is because I am opposed to the idea that the way to bring about more women candidates should be a law that discriminates against candidates on the grounds of their gender.
Such a law will be bad for the cause of women and men. It will be divisive, discriminatory and undemocratic.
Political Correspondent Harry McGee discusses the Government's first 100 days in this Irish Times politics podcast with me, Pascal Donoghue TD (FG), Senator Thomas Byrne (FF) and Eoin O'Broin, Sinn Fein's General Election 2011 candidate in Dublin Mid West:
Comments can be made on the Irish Times Politics Blog here: