The Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has displayed a complete lack of respect for students this week by casually announcing annual increases in college registration fees over the next four years, according to Fianna Fáil Education Spokesperson Brendan Smith.  


“It is less than a year since Ruairí Quinn signed a pledge to students promising that he would not allow any increases in third level registration fees. This, he said, was a ‘red line issue’ for the Labour Party. He was quick to break this promise. Far from reversing the €500 increase in the student contribution fee last year, he announced a further €250 increase in December’s budget.


“It now seems that this initial betrayal was not enough for Minister Quinn.  He has now casually revealed that he will hit students with further increases in the student contribution fee every year over the next four years. Students and their families are facing a 50% increase in the charge in the year ahead.


“The flippant manner in which this was revealed to students is unacceptable. Less than a year ago, Ruairí Quinn made a solemn promise to students not to preside over any fee increases. Once again, they have been let down and they are worried about what else is coming down the track.


“It’s time for Minister Quinn to be honest with students about his plans for increasing the cost of third-level education. Students and their families need to budget and prepare for college, and right now it is impossible for them to do so.”