Fianna Fáil Press Office
Cllr Mary Hanafin
Dún Laoghaire

17 February 2016

Alan Kelly’s claim on Education is outright lie reflecting Labour desperation – Hanafin

Fianna Fáil candidate for Dún Laoghaire Cllr Mary Hanafin maintains that Alan Kelly’s claim that Labour ‘spent more money on schools and education than Fianna Fail did in 14 years previously’ is utterly delusional.

“It is a pity that Labour feel they have to resort to such desperate lies to salvage their reputation as a progressive party.

“Even just during the period 2008 to 2011 compared to 2012 to 2015, Fianna Fáil cumulatively spent €2.7 billion more in total on education than during Labour’s period in government.

“Just in 2011, Fianna Fáil’s education budget spending was €281m higher than Labour’s in 2015, despite the fact that there are now 44,000 additional students attending primary and secondary schools.

“Labour built half the number of new schools as the last Fianna Fáil government, slashed education capital expenditure by 33% and has jam packed classrooms with upwards of 25% (or 125,000) primary school pupils in supersize classes of 30 or more.

“Despite having two Labour Ministers at the helm, this government’s education policies have been extremely regressive, widening education inequality.

“Since 2012, both Labour Ministers implemented a series of short-sighted cuts which have impacted heavily on students from vulnerable backgrounds, decimating special education needs supports, removing Guidance Counselling provision from 50% of schools and most especially, to savagely cut programmes for combating education disadvantage such as the School Completion Programme and DEIS.”