'Don't penalise me -- I pay my taxes'
Published 17/11/2011 | 06:00
Clare restaurateur Cillian Murphy has a son in Transition Year at Villiers School in Limerick City. He pays €8,000 a year in boarding fees.
"I'm a parent who pays taxes, and I am entitled to state-supported education resources -- after all it's what I pay a large part of my taxes for.
"In addition, I choose to devote a substantial part of my after-tax income to supplementing the state-provided education by sending my son to a fee-paying school. Is this wrong?
"It is true that there are parents who do not have the means to choose to sending their children to fee paying schools, but is this sufficient justification to effectively discriminate against those who, often through great sacrifice, strive to create those means?
"The fact is that parents of children in fee-paying schools are actually subsidising the Government and not the other way around. Students attending fee-paying schools are saving the state a colossal €90m per annum -- funds that would have to come out of Department of Education coffers if they opted to attend non fee-paying schools.''