Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, has called on the Government to confirm if farm assets will be used in assessing the third level grant for students.
Deputy Ó Cuív was speaking at the launch of Fianna Fáil’s Priorities in Agriculture Policy at the National Ploughing Championships in Wexford.
“A number of weeks ago, Minister Ruairí Quinn said capital assets may be taken into account in deciding whether students would be eligible for third level grants. If this is confirmed, farm assets would be used in calculating the student grant, which for small family farms could be devastating.
“The new academic year has started and some students will not be able to complete their studies if they lose the grant they are depending on.
“This is another attack on rural Ireland and the Government is failing to realise how perilous a position a lot of farmers are in. Many small family farms aren’t profit making and farmers are struggling to get by, this move would force many students out of the education system.
“The delay in this decision is creating a lot of uncertainty and undue worry, I hope the Minister isn’t engaging in cynicism as this is too serious an issue. Minister Quinn needs to clarify this situation immediately.”