Connaughton to raise concerns over education grant changes

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Galway East Deputy Paul Connaughton this week said that he has major issues with  proposals to include capital asset values in relation to income for families applying for third level grants.

“I believe that any person should be assessed in relation to an education grant solely by their income. To do otherwise is to place self-employed people at a huge disadvantage in that the very asset that they use to make an income would be used against them.

“I will be making my views on this issue crystal clear to the Minister for Education, the Minister for Enterprise and the Minister for Agriculture in coming days, prior to any decision being made by any review group in relation to this issue.

This is an issue that could affect hundreds of families across east Galway. If someone owns a property from which they are deriving no income and which may in fact simply be costing them money in insurance and property charges, that cannot
be used to penalise someone seeking to send their child to college.

“Similarly if someone owns a farm, only their income should be taken into account and not the value of the farm, which is simply the unrealised asset used to generate the income.

“This is a very important issue and before any decision on the matter is made, I will ensure that the effects that any such proposal could have are well documented to all involved.”