Education fees and system a barrier for families says Labour Senator

The Government has been urged to take the idea of student loans off the table.

A report published last year found that there was a funding gap of €5.5bn over the next 15 years in third level education.

The Cassels report made a number of recommendations including a deferred payment scheme for students.

Labour Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, who will table a motion on the issue tomorrow, has said this would be disastrous.

"Fundamentally, education should be something that the taxpayer provides," he said.

"We have any amount of people who are eager to get into third level but the fees and system is still a barrier for many other people and working families.

"I think a situation where a burden of loans that has to be re-paid over a number of years would deter people," he said.

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