The Minister for Education has said the reintroduction of third level fees will not be fully considered by Cabinet until September.

Batt O'Keeffe said today he will be giving proposals to fellow Cabinet ministers for observation next week.

He said he wanted to be informed by their opinions before bringing definitive plans to a Cabinet meeting.

Mr O'Keeffe said he thought people would be pleasantly surprised that the system he would be proposing - if adopted - will not be as financially difficult as perceived.

The minister was asked if he had watered down his proposals in the wake of strong criticism from students and parents' groups.

He said that since the Budget he had taken into account the ability of people to pay and the additional burden that had been placed on families.