The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) has called on the government to allocate emergency ‘once-off’ monies from the soaring Corporation tax intake to address the crisis in third-level funding.
Responding to the latest Corporation tax intake for 2018, which has soared to over €10b, Frank Jones, Deputy General Secretary of IFUT, said “Higher education colleges produce the highly qualified graduates that supply expertise to the multinational companies that pay Corporation tax.”
“A small portion of the €10b would address the issues and recommendations contained in the Cassells Report on third-level funding, which have still not been addressed more than three years after publication.”
“A designated sum should be ringfenced specifically for higher education.”
Frank Jones said that “the government has repeatedly failed in recent Budgets to reverse the impact of drastic funding cuts imposed during the recession years of the past decade.”
“Student enrolment numbers continue to soar in our universities, while ever increasing numbers of staff are being forced into low-pay, precarious employment and contracts.”
“This is undermining the ability to maintain the highest education standards and is already showing its impact in the slide of our universities in international rankings.”
“A ‘once-off’ injection of cash into the sector is now required and should be built into Department of Education and Science funding.”
“The government has sought to camouflage the need for direct state funding by recourse to an annualised 0.1% increase in the National Training Fund Levy from employers. This has a limited funding impact, but more importantly threatens academic freedom and independence at university level, particularly in the context of severely restricted state funding.”
“While changes in the level of Corporation tax income may occur in future, it has already been signalled that income from this area for 2019 may surpass even the record figures for 2018.”
“The government cannot continue to hide behind possible future changes as an excuse for current severe underfunding and the resultant escalating crisis in higher education,” Frank Jones said.
For further information on this media release please contact:
John Gallagher, John Gallagher Consulting - Tel. 087 9369888
Frank Jones, Deputy General Secretary, IFUT - Tel. 087 2436042