News & Media

Share

Budget18 lacks vision for third level education

11 October 2017

Statement by Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin
Spokesperson on Education and Skills, Gaeilge and the Gaeltacht

Labour Party spokesperson on Education, Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has said that this year’s budget exposes a total lack of vision for the third level sector.

Senator Ó Ríordáin commented:

“This Budget illustrates Fine Gael/Independent Alliance’s poverty of vision for free education. Nowhere is this more evident than in third level funding.

“In a budget which has expanded to €10 billion, the Government has spectacularly failed to address the cost of attending third level education for the average family.

“With Ireland emerging from a deep recession it is time for us to state what truly matters to us. Education is a great liberator and a vision of an entirely free third level education is still something the Labour Party holds dear.

“Our Alternative Budget published last week, reduced the registration fee for students by €1,000. The Government have decided to make no change in this area whatsoever.

“Instead they have given the strongest indication yet of a lurch towards the commercialisation of the sector by giving employers greater say over the National Training Fund.

“In the Seanad today, I have called for a debate with the Minister for Education on his vision for education. Does he believe in equality? Does he believe in free education or are we just to expect more of the same?”