Sinn Féin cannot do their maths and will punish third level students, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Fine Gael Education, Further and Higher Education Spokesperson Paul Kehoe said that Sinn Fein’s alternative Budget promises a €1,000 reduction in student fees and increases in student grants. The problem is, they don’t have the money for it.
Deputy Kehoe said: “This is classic Sinn Féin, making fantastical promises, all based on a number plucked out of the sky.
“The cost of reducing third level fees by €1,000 – and Fine Gael would know because it did it last year – is in fact €91.9 million. Sinn Féin has budgeted €23.6 million. Sinn Féin says it wants to increase the thresholds for student grants by 15% at a cost of €13.2. In reality, it costs €25 million.
“Every year, Minister Harris publishes the figures online. Either Sinn Féin cannot do their maths or they are choosing to deliberately mislead third level students. There is a big difference between Sinn Féin promises and reality.”
Deputy Kehoe, who is also Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Education, Further and Higher Education also pointed how PhD researchers and part-time students – such as lone parents and people with disabilities – have been forgotten by Sinn Féin.
“Sinn Féin will attempt to curry favour with third level students today but will fail to tell them this Government will give them more support and build more accommodation than they ever would.
“They will also fail to tell them that Sinn Fein has never once proposed a cut to the €5,438 fee for university in Northern Ireland,” he concluded.