IRELAND: Labour accused of cheating students

Pre-election pledges by the Labour Party about reversing student registration charges and not reintroducing formal fees amounted to "cheating students to win votes", the Dáil (parliament) was told, writes Marie O'Halloran for The Irish Times.

During heated exchanges and persistent heckling in the chamber Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said the government had yet to finally determine "what may or may not be in the budget". Later during question time Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn, who in February pledged to reverse the registration hike and not to introduce fees, said he was examining the Higher Education Authority report on funding for higher education. He would discuss it with government colleagues "as part of our budgetary deliberations".

Fianna Fáil education spokesman Brendan Smith said the minister knew "full well the fiscal position of the state" when he made the pledge in February. But Quinn stressed that because of the former government's pledges "we don't control either our cheque book or our policy in relation to a whole range of items of public expenditure and we have to work within that constraint".
Full report on The Irish Times site