STUDENT GRANT CHANGES DISCRIMINATE AGAINST FARMING FAMILIES – MCCONALOGUE

first_imgThe Government has confirmed to Fianna Fáil’s Education Spokesperson Charlie McConalogue that it is pressing ahead with changes to the assessment criteria for student grants next year. It means that farm assets will now be included in the means-testing for third level grants, claims the Donegal TD.Deputy McConalogue raised a topical debate on the matter in the Dáil, describing the changes as ‘highly discriminatory’. He appealed to the Government to reconsider. “This will push third level education out of the reach of so many farming and self-employed families. The plan unfairly targets the farming community, as farming families will soon be assessed on a notional value of their land as well as on their income.“The result will be a totally inflated view of each family’s wealth, pushing them beyond the criteria for a student grant,” said Deputy McConalogue.Deputy McConalogue appealed to the Government to review this plan before it is too late, but in response the Minister of State Fergus O’Dowd confirmed that the changes will go ahead next year.Deputy McConalogue said, “It is deeply disappointing that Fine Gael and Labour still refuse to recognise the serious impact that this will have on farming families. It is effectively a further cut in student grants targeted at farming and self-employed families. It will put many farming families in a position where they must decide whether or not to sell some of their land, which may not be generating income, in order to fund their children through college. “The system should be based on one’s real income, not on a notional value of an asset. Regardless of an individual’s background his or her income is based on the returns submitted to the Revenue Commissioners. This is the only fair and equitable method of assessing income, and it is the approach taken in respect of PAYE workers. I do not accept that we can have a different set of rules for farmers and the self-employed.“I intend to continue my strong opposition to these grant changes. In my view this is yet another example of the Government’s unfair and unbalanced education policies, exposing its complete lack of understanding of the needs of families in more rural communities.”STUDENT GRANT CHANGES DISCRIMINATE AGAINST FARMING FAMILIES – MCCONALOGUE was last modified: February 8th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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