With the Department of Education confirming there will be no change to the means test for students starting third-level in September, Waterford Deputy John Deasy says the notion of imputing income from property “must be dumped for good”, and not simply deferred.
“It makes no sense to talk about including ‘non-productive’ capital assets such as farm land and business premises when assessing a family’s annual income. There is no relationship between the value of land and the income derived from it,” the Fine Gael TD insisted.
Recognising that the proposals would have a disproportionate effect in the dairying heartland that is Waterford and the South East, Mr Deasy’s hardline stance was applauded by IFA President John Bryan at the height of the controversy in February.
The Waterford deputy warned that the issue had the potential to seriously damage the coalition, and called on senior figures within his own party to stop Mr Quinn’s idea in its tracks.
Other rural deputies rowed in and the Labour plan was held up before it reached cabinet. “It’s time to put an end this for once and for all,” Deputy Deasy says.