Education cuts imminent, while school build budget not spent – Doherty
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Education Senator Pearse Doherty has expressed shock and disbelief at the news that the Department of Education has yet to spend almost half of its annual budget for school buildings with less than 2 months left of this year.
Senator Doherty said:
“The Government tells us on a daily basis how cuts will have to be made to education spending, while it is clearly unable to manage the funds it doeshave at its disposal. This is an obvious signal that something is drastically wrong in the Department of Education’s management of funds.
“We are continuously told how cuts must be made to education, how teachers for special needs children are a luxury we can not afford and how there is no money left in the pot for language support. We now learn that the Department of Education, with two months left in the year, has yet to spend almost €340 million of this years capital budget allocated for school buildings.
“There are almost 1,200 applications for major capital works currently with the department; the use of prefabs is widespread with a projected €25 million to be spent on rental this year. This is at a time when plumbers, builders and brick layers are crying out for work.
“The Department of Education’s remaining monies for this year should be used for the construction of much -needed school buildings, stimulating the economy by getting people back to work in the process. That opportunity is being wasted.” ENDS