Concerns over constraints on the Education budget
Sinn Féin Education spokesperson John O' Dowd has said that it is clear from the Ministers statement today that without an injection of cash by the Executive there will be no new schools built in this financial year as a result of the constraints on the Education budget.
Mr O' Dowd said
“Despite the best efforts by some of those in the Chamber and some outside the chamber to muddy the waters the facts are quite clear.Schools affected by the Capital Review will be informed directly of their status by the Minister and despite the protests of some MLAs schools should be informed before anyone else! The school build programme cannot go ahead without an injection of money as the Minister has already spent 99% of her allocated budget in building new schools. What part of those two pieces of information do certain MLAs not understand?
"In recent weeks senior departmental officials have reported to the Assembly Education Committee that the new build budget is under severe pressure. Those reports have been confirmed by budget updates.
"The antics of the Education committee chair will not result in one brick being laid in any school but if the Assembly and the Executive approach this issue in a mature professional way then I believe we can bring some relief to those schools awaiting new builds.