first_imgFianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Charlie McConalogue has said it is deeply unfair that students in Donegal could face a threat to their third level grants because of the mess the Government made with the household charge.It follows reports that Donegal County Council may follow other local authorities in demanding proof of payment for the household charge from all students applying for third level grants.Deputy McConalogue said, “Linking the household charge to student grants is simply unacceptable. Instead of maintaining responsibility for setting the qualification criteria for student grants as is his duty, the Education Minister Ruairí Quinn has described this practise as ‘reasonable’ and seems to see nothing wrong in targeting students from lower-income families in this way. “Students who are seeking financial support for college are not homeowners themselves. Why should they be penalised because their parents can’t or won’t pay the household charge? Why should their third level education be put in jeopardy because this Government made a complete and utter mess over the roll out and collection of the household charge?”He said a dangerous precedent is being set here and it must be stopped.He added that linking the household charge and student grants raises serious questions about what comes next.“For example, what is to prevent a Local Authority from withholding a student grant from a student whose family is in rent arrears with a council or who are not up to date with water charges? “I raised this important issue with Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn at the Oireachtas Education Committee today, but the Minister is standing by his initial approach that this is a ‘reasonable’ measure. Families in Donegal will find this extremely disappointing. The Minister has, however, committed to seeking legal advice in relation to his responsibilities for maintaining control of the qualification criteria for student grants.“The funding for student grants and an individual’s entitlement to apply for a grant has absolutely nothing to do with the Household Charge. While I understand that Donegal County Council is under severe financial pressure as a result of Minister Hogan’s heavy handed cuts to funding, it is wrong to use student grants as a tool for covering the Government’s mistakes on the household charge.” TARGETING STUDENTS FOR HOUSEHOLD CHARGE MESS IS ‘UNACCEPTABLE’ – MCCONALOGUE was last modified: September 19th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Charlie McConlogueDonegal County CouncilHOUSEHOLD CHARGEthird level grantslast_img

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