Education minister attacks Fine Gael’s proposal on college fees

Ireland“Fine Gael last week proposed a new PRSI-based scheme, which would see graduates contribute 30 per cent of the cost of the third-level education over a maximum of ten years. The party said the proposals would raise €500 million a year. However, O’Keeffe, who is to seek the reintroduction of fees from September 2010, said it was not clear on what basis the €500 million was calculated. A spokesman for O’Keeffe said the opposition party document did not outline the number and types of students used for the calculation, the minimum rate of PRSI to be implemented or how the system of payment would operate. ‘This has all the hallmarks of a rushed job, driven by Fine Gael’s haste to produce a document on the minister’s student contribution proposal ahead of our own detailed report to cabinet,’ said the spokesman. O’Keeffe is to bring his own proposal to cabinet within the next two weeks …” (more)

[Martha Kearns, Sunday Business Post, 22 March]

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