Government's student loan scheme 'off the table'

It seems the government has scrapped plans for a student loan scheme.

Junior Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor has told students it's "off the table" while the current government is in place.

Opponents of the "study now, pay later" system say it would heap thousands of euro of debt on students.

Michael Kerrigan from the Union of Students in Ireland says they have been campaigning against it for a long time.

"We had 12,000 students on the streets in October 2016, we had 20,000 students on the streets in 2017, we've had countless meetings with TDs," he said.

"This is welcome news and we're looking forward to more clarity on the statement."

Labour's Education spokesperson, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has called on Minister Mitchell OConnor to put her plans for future funding of higher education on the record of both Houses of the Oireachtas.

"Last week, Minister Mitchell O’Connor told a DCU student leader that a student loan scheme is off the table," he said.

"This is great and welcome news but if the Minister is serious about not introducing a student loan scheme, then she needs to make a statement in either the Dáil and Seanad saying as much.

"The Minister needs to do more than give soothing platitudes to students protesting outside the Dáil gates.

Next week, I’ll be calling the Minister into the Seanad for her to put her views on the record of the House.

Digital Desk

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