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Crowe slams pre budget estimates for education

18 November, 2005

Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Seán Crowe TD has said the budget estimates "are lacking in a commitment to tackle educational disadvantage." Deputy Crowe set out a few examples of what he called an over hyped, short on substance list of estimates."

Speaking in Dublin today he said, "The budget estimates for education given are lacking in a commitment to tackle educational disadvantage in several areas. The proposed 10% increase in special needs teacher provision at primary level is just not enough. In real terms the increase amounts to just over fourteen thousand euros. This wouldn't employ one extra teacher for six months. A 34% reduction of funding in this area at secondary level is shocking.

"The increase in primary school capitation grants amounts to around fifteen thousand euro. It is hard to take this Government seriously when trumpeting such paltry amounts as a huge step forward.

"The announcement of a thirty percent increase in school transport funding is entirely cynical. It derives from the necessity to introduce safety measures as a result of the fatal crash in Meath. The real story here is that capacity has been reduced due to these safety measures and the department has refused to make it up resulting in many students being denied a place on their usual bus.

"The above are just a few examples of what is an over hyped, short on substance list of estimates. Nowhere in these estimates can I see a genuine commitment to tackling educational disadvantage. Instead what emerges is a complacent and uncaring attitude on the part of this Government yet again." ENDS

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