The ICMSA President, John Comer, has said that his organisation is still quietly hopeful that the proposed capital assets test will not proceed. Mr Comer said ICMSA was always convinced that the intrinsic unfairness and un-workability of the proposal would mitigate against its introduction. But he cautioned against any kind of ‘media-stirring’ or what he called ‘pointless urban-versus-rural posturing’ that would only serve to antagonise those elements who might not understand farm finances and who might yet believe that farmers children were disproportionately in receipt of Third Level grants, a belief that Minister Quinn himself had described as ‘a myth’ in a 2011 letter to ICMSA.
“The matter must not become a question of over-heated comments and attempts to re-plough ground. The demerits of the proposal are sufficiently great that any impartial examination will surely come down in favour of income continuing to be the sole determinant in deciding whether or not a student is eligible for Third Level grant aid. This debate has moved far past the level that some want to pitch it at and ICMSA is hopeful and confident that that the argument for fairness for farmers’ children that we have making for the past year has been heard and accepted.
“We have always trusted that fairness, logic and consistency would ensure that this hopelessly unfair proposal would not be carried through and we urge all parties to cease grandstanding on the question and simply move to the obviously correct and fair conclusion, which is that income – and income alone – must be the sole criteria for deciding eligibility for Third Level Grants” said Mr Comer.
Ends 1 March 2013.
John Comer, 087-2057846
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office