Gilmore claims no Labour minister has engaged in budget kite-flying
on 11/10/2012 00:00:00
Meanwhile, Labour's Ruairi Quinn, the education minister, criticised a junior minister in his party, Alan Kelly, over suggestions made at the weekend that the State subsidy to fee-paying schools is likely to be cut.
"Well he [Alan Kelly] expressed an opinion. He's not around the cabinet table - I am," Mr Quinn told DCU FM.
"I don't think it's helpful for anybody to hear the possibility of this and the possibility of that... and things are difficult enough for most people for that to be compounded with that kind of thinking aloud."
Mr Kelly told RTÉ's The Week in Politics that the days of giving €96m to private schools "is something that is going to come to an end".
Despite distancing himself from the junior transport minister's comments, Mr Quinn still refused to say whether he plans to revise the subvention to private schools.
"You have to make sure you get all of the options on the table, discussed robustly, so that you can examine the impact they may have and the savings they could achieve, and then proceed to make the decision collectively," said Mr Quinn.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny yesterday attempted to play down comments made in the Dáil by Mr Varadkar, who said consumer confidence dropped by 10 points last month "probably due to ministers, and others, talking about child benefit cuts and property taxes and all sorts of things".
Mr Gilmore said people are suffering as a result of kite-flying and "get worried about every story that appears or they see in the newspaper and think that some entitlement they have is going to be cut in the budget, when in fact it might not be under consideration at all".
He said: "I am absolutely satisfied that no Labour minister has been engaged in kite-flying and I agree totally with Leo Varadkar that it should stop."
Mr Quinn has already confirmed that he plans to raise the student contribution charge by €250 for the next three years. He said yesterday it was the only option "'in the circumstances" to provide essential funding for the third-level sector.
"I signalled at the outset that the student charge, which was at €2,000, would go up in four quarters to €3,000 and we are on target for that to happen and I've no plans, or intentions to make it any higher," he said.
He also justified his decision to sign a pre-election pledge not to raise the student contribution charge.
"I wanted to make sure there was a constructive change of government and I think that has been brought about," he said.