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Tuesday 28 March 2017

Immigrants should be screened on arrival -- poll

Majority also want back-to-school expenses brought under control

DANIEL McCONNELL Chief Reporter

Immigrants arriving in Ireland should be obliged to undergo a medical examination, the overwhelming majority of Irish people think, according to the latest Sunday Independent poll.

Some 76 per cent of those polled said that in view of the outbreak of Tuberculosis (TB) in Cork last week, all arriving immigrants should be required to undergo a medical examination.

According to Quantum Research, which carried out the 500-people poll on Friday night, respondents were fearful that infectious diseases were being brought into the country by people from overseas, with many believing that some countries posed more of a risk than others.

Just 24 per cent of those polled felt that screening would have limited, if any, impact in an era in which travel to and from Ireland had become commonplace.

"In Asia, during swine flu, they scanned all people arriving for temperatures, a simple, non-discriminatory practice, that put the public's health and safety first," one female respondent said.

On the topic of back-to-school costs, it was of little surprise that 91 per cent want new regulation in this area.

Quantum said the topic was an emotive one, prompting respondents to raise a host of issues surrounding the debate on back-to-school costs. For example, there were calls for money to be made available to needy families in the form of back-to-school grants. There was also widespread anger expressed over the frequent changing of books in the curriculum, which seemed to go on yearly and thus was an added expense for parents who had more than one child at school.

"Back-to-school books are a scam, it's difficult to even hand books down nowadays because new editions are brought out almost every year," one respondent said.

A large majority of the public are opposed to the reintroduction of third-level fees. Some 58 per cent of those polled said they would not support the return of fees to maintain the standard of third-level education. They thought the re-introduction of fees would place an unnecessary burden on students and parents who were already struggling with the recession.

However, many respondents did think the system should include some form of means testing, whereby the children of very wealthy parents would have to pay their third-level fees.

Sunday Independent

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