Sinn Féin Budget shows families are better off with Sinn Féin - Mary Lou McDonald TD
Speaking at the Sinn Féin Budget 2016 launch Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald outlined a range of measures in the party’s proposals that will support families and their children, begin to address the cost childcare and education and put more resources into primary and secondary schools as well as supports for children with a disability.
The Dublin Central TD said:
“Over the last four and half years Fine Gael and Labour have fundamentally undermined supports and resources for families and their children across the public system. The cost of education and childcare has risen, whilst investment in frontline resources has fallen.
“Sinn Féin’s budget proposals for 2016 set out a number of measures that will support families and their children, begin to address the cost childcare and education and put more resources into primary and secondary schools as well as supports for children with a disability.
“We would reduce primary school class sizes, reverse cuts to the provision of guidance teachers in secondary schools and increase resource hours for children with special needs. All of these measures will improve outcomes in education for children for all ages and provide additional support for children who need it most.
“In addition we would reduce the third level contribution fee by €500 giving immediate relief to families who are struggling to meet the costs associated with putting their kids through university.
“Our budget also includes a number of measures that seek to extend the access of the existing free-preschool year and to begin to address the high costs of childcare. We would extend the free pre-school year by 10 weeks and provide an additional 1,000 SNAs to ensure parents of children with a special need can access the service.
“We would introduce two weeks paternity leave and introduce an additional 6 weeks maternity benefit that can be taken by either parent at the end of the existing 26 weeks leave. We would also increase the existing Child Benefit payment by €5 per child.
“By using the fiscal space available in Budget 2016 to prioritise an ambitious programme of investment in frontline services such as education, childcare and health Sinn Féin is putting families and their children first.”