Ó Domhnaill Slams Education Minister on plans to include Farm and Business Assets in the means test for Student Grants

Fianna Fáil  Seanad Spokesperson on Agriculture Brian Ó Domhnaill has this week slammed the Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn at his plans to include Farm and Business assets in the means test for student grants.

 

The Donegal Senator has said that the leaked proposals from the Minister for Education could cost the children of 40,000 farm families their chance of securing a college grant from next September.

 

Ó Domhnaill said; “Under the Minister’s proposals the Department will mount a five-year trawl of assets owned by Farmers and Self Employed families whose children are applying for the College Grants in September. It appears that the Minister plans to include assets worth in excess of €750,000 in the means test – on top of how much income is being earned. According to the Department of Education the average land price of €10,000/ac, which would equate to all farms over 75 acres.”

 

“Currently, the Student Grant is only assessed on the income of the parent in the year running up to the application for a College place and does not included assets.”

 

Senator Ó Domhnaill went on to say; “ Now proposals by the Minister are extremely unfair as not only would farming and self employed families be asked to disclose their household income in making a grant application but the Minister now wants these families to disclose their household income in making a grant application but the Minister now wants these families to disclose the extent of the assets from which derive that income from – this will effectively see a double means being applied on the same asset.”

 

“Once again rural and farming communities have been singled out by the Education Minister Ruairí Quinn in an unfair and discriminatory manner.”

 

Posted: Feb 6, 2013     |     Categories: Uncategorized