Coveney denial: Reports of rift with Quinn
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has denied reports he told Fine Gael TDs that Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn had backed down on plans to include farm assets in the means test for college grants.
Mr Coveney gave a briefing to Fine Gael colleagues on Wednesday and afterwards it was reported he told the committee the plan to include assets in excess of €750,000 in the means test would not go ahead.
“I didn’t say that,” he told The Irish Times. “What I said was that no proposals had come to Government yet on this issue but that I had made my views clear to Ruairí Quinn.
“I understand he has a job to do as well in terms of reviewing means-testing for third-level grants. I have a very good relationship with Ruairí Quinn on this issue but until there is a proposal in front of Cabinet there is no decision to be made.”
The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association said the proposal was intrinsically so unfair that it could never be seriously considered.
Mr Coveney said the issue had been hyped up but there were no difficulties between Ministers on this. “People shouldn’t be getting excited about this issue because there is no decision to be made at the moment.”