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Sinn Féin Education spokesperson demands answers from new minister on prospect of school closures

19 May, 2016

Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Carol Nolan TD has called on the new Minister Richard Bruton to come in to the Dáil today to spell out his plans to fund the education sector after reports today that schools are struggling to meet basic costs such as insurance, heating and lighting and many are facing closure.

The reports are based on a briefing document supplied by civil servants to the new Minister Richard Bruton which warns of the prospect of school closures due to inadequate funding.

Speaking today Deputy Nolan said;

“The 500 page briefing provided to the minister makes for stark reading.  The fact that many schools are struggling to afford insurance, heating and lighting is an indictment on the former Fine Gael led government and shame on Fianna Fáil for facilitating their return to power.

“The report also states that some 28 school building programmes may have to be held back due to lack of funding.

“And just yesterday we had the Finance Minister Michael Noonan confirming that the government plans to go ahead with its plan to scrap USC which brings in more than €4bn to the state’s coffers.

“The fact of the matters is, as Sinn Féin pointed out during the election campaign, that we cannot have first class public services if we cut billions out of the tax take.  It is simply not doable and the persistence from the government on this matter shows that their priorities lie with the predominantly high earners who will benefit from their plan to scrap the USC rather than the population as a whole who benefit from our public service.

“The new Minister for Education Richard Bruton should come into the Dáil today to outline what he plans to do to keep schools open, to keep new school builds on schedule and to ensure that we have a first class education service.”


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