14th May 2003
Government Turning the Clock Back on Education
Sinn Fein Spokesperson on Education Seán Crowe has described the suggestion that the Government plans to do away with free fees for certain families as tantamount to ``turning the clock back on education'' and called on the Government to seriously address the need to redistribute the abundance of wealth in Irish society.
The Dublin South-West TD said: ``If the Government is serious about helping people from disadvantaged areas get into University, surely there are better ways to do it. Sinn Fein has called for the abundance of wealth in Irish society to be redistributed. In our pre-budget submission we called for a super tax rate of 50% for individuals earning over 100,000 Euros, along with increases in Capital Gains Tax and Corporation Tax to really redistribute the massive wealth in Irish society. This is the root and branch way we need to go about tackling this problem.
``I understand the intention of the Taoiseach is to only tax families on very large incomes but the proposals are imperfect at best. Simply because a family income might be large does not indicate a potential student can access this support. A young person from a very well off background who is estranged from his or her family is as likely to need financial support as young people from working class backgrounds.
``There is no evidence that the money raised from this decision would lead to investment in Education. A large amount of the money raised from the massive increases in Registration Fees earlier this year disappeared into Charlie McCreevy's pockets where he offset it against massive Corporation tax cuts. This proposal is not about creating a more equal society or improving access to Third Level education or helping students from low income families, it's about turning the clock back on Irish education.'' ENDS
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