Macra na Feirme National President, Alan Jagoe, has condemned the ‘closed’ nature of the working group for not directly accepting proposals from representative bodies on the proposed changes to third level education grants. Macra na Feirme have requested an immediate meeting on the issue with the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn, to put forward their submission.
Mr. Jagoe said: “The process by which the working group are deciding the proposed changes to third level education grants has left no clear route for us to highlight the issues for Ireland’s rural young people. There has been no evident process by which to propose additions or changes.
“Macra’s opinion would be that the inclusion of assets such as farming land is incredibly short-sighted and will severely affect young people from farming backgrounds.
“The fact is that the average full-time farmer will not be in a position to send their child to college without the assistance of an educational grant.
“This way of thinking is not in touch with the economic reality for many sole traders and farm families.”
He concluded by saying: “The working group must take into consideration that rural young people have a voice, one that must be heard, when decisions are being taken that affect their future.”
Macra na Feirme is the national organisation representing Ireland’s rural young people and young farmers. Macra has over 8,000 members nationwide with a network of nearly 300 clubs across the country.
Macra is a social partner organisation.
Read more in this week’s Nationalist - on sale this Wednesday.