Teagasc Must Explain Its Research on 3rd Level Maintenance Grants

IFA President John Bryan has challenged Teagasc to immediately clarify the role it has played in facilitating Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, in proposing that children from a farm with net assets of €750,000 would be excluded from 3<sup>rd</sup>-level maintenance grants, regardless of income.

In re-iterating IFA’s outright opposition to any attempt to include productive assets in the assessment, John Bryan said that calculations reportedly supplied by Teagasc are deeply flawed and will result in discrimination against farm families as eligibility will be based on asset value.

IFA Deputy President, Eddie Downey, said, “This is a very serious matter for Teagasc, and its Director Gerry Boyle must clarify their involvement in compiling these proposals. I will be prioritising this issue at the next Board meeting on Wednesday”.

John Bryan said, “The existing method of assessment of self-employed income for the maintenance grant already disallows a number of expenses that are included in income tax computation. To include productive assets in the maintenance grant assessment would further discriminate against the self-employed, including farmers. These assets are required by self-employed businesses to generate income, and are not a measure of additional ability to pay”.

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