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Education Budget

Posted by Francis O' Toole on October 25, 2012

Fianna Fáil has today published proposals aimed at avoiding a repeat of ‘mistakes’ made in the Education Budget this year.  The Education Budget Transparency Bill 2012 will ensure that the Government carries an impact assessment of potential budget measures on school resources to avoid future repeats of the debacle in this year’s budget.

The party’s education spokesperson Charlie McConalogue has moved the Bill in the Dáil today (24 October 2012).

“The Education Minister Ruairí Quinn was forced to admit that he made mistakes with the Education Budget this year.  He admitted that his decision to cut 428 DEIS posts was wrong and that he hadn’t realised the full impact of these sweeping cuts before they were announced in Budget 2012,” said Deputy McConalogue.

“This new Bill will avoid a situation where an Education Minister can make unilateral decisions on potentially damaging cuts to frontline education services without first understanding the impact of these cuts.  If this proposed legislation was in place before Budget 2012, Minister Quinn could have avoided the distress and anger caused this year by his slash and burn of DEIS resources.

“This is a non-partisan, constructive set of proposals aimed solely at ensuring that the Education Minister of the day fully understands the effects on school children of budgetary decisions.  Under this Bill, the Minister would have to produce an impact study of potential cuts by the end of November each year, ahead of the budget.  The schools affected by upcoming cuts to resources would then be given the opportunity to submit an appeal.

“It is essential that any decision resulting in a cut in supports for our school children is thoroughly examined and fully understood before it is implemented.  Fianna Fáil will be seeking cross-party support for this Bill when it is debated in the Dáil in the coming weeks.”

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