Labour Senators to table motion opposing student loans
Labour Party Senator, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin will this week lead Labour Party’s private members’ motion in Seanad outlining our opposition to student loans.
Labour’s motion calls on the Government to affirm its commitment to providing equality of access to education for all; to reject any move to implement an income contingent loan scheme to fund third level education; and to adopt a policy of ending college fees and implementing a truly publicly funded higher education system in Ireland.
Speaking ahead of the motion, Senator Ó Ríordáin commented:
“Since the publication of the Cassells’ Report, we have argued against the introduction of a student loan scheme.
“When it comes to higher education, we need to be ambitious and remove financial barriers to access education. A deferred payment scheme, which is an option proposed in the Cassells’ Report, would be disastrous for students in Ireland.
“This week in the Seanad, my Labour colleagues and I will be calling for increased state investment and a significant contribution from employers into higher education. Businesses benefit significantly from a highly educated workforce and their contribution to higher education should reflect that.
“The position of the Labour Party is clear, the Government should take the idea of student loans off the table – college fees should not rise, they should go.
“Labour in Government took an ambitious step in the 90’s in introducing publicly funded third level education. We need to be brave again and be ambitious for the next generation.”