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Crowe - Government robbing Peter to pay Paul in education u-turn

26 May, 2003

While giving a cautious welcome to the news that there is to be increased investment in improving access to Third Level education Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Education Seán Crowe has called the Government's claims to be interested in disadvantaged areas "deeply hypocritical and dishonest".

The Dublin South-West TD said: "Sinn Féin is giving this belatedly announced investment in access to third level education a caution welcome. However, following the inter-departmental rows within the Government of the last couple of weeks, we believe the case is now clear for an equitable tax system which would as Minister Dempsey was saying last week make the rich pay their fair share.

"Working class communities who gain from investment in access to third level education should not be attacked at the same time by ongoing cuts in Community Employment schemes. These schemes in many instances provided much needed relief in terms of providing personnel and resources to primary schools in areas of disadvantage throughout the State.

"Yesterdays announcement was supposed to be about improving access to education However, the claim of this Government to be acting out of concern for the disadvantaged is deeply hypocritical and dishonest when the money is coming from the Tánaiste's Department as a result of her stringent cutbacks to the very programmes that directly benefit that sector.

"In the face of a very successful campaign mounted by USI and the CFE in winning over public opinion the Government has decided to try and buy its way out this problem by robbing Peter to pay Paul. It is but another con-trick being pulled on the Irish electorate." ENDS

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