Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education and Skills Brendan Smith is calling on Minister Ruairí Quinn to explain exactly where his claimed €30 million funding for school building projects is coming from.
“While I very much welcome any additional investment in refurbishing our school buildings, I am concerned that Minister Quinn’s latest announcement is just another example of headline-grabbing spin from the Fine Gael/Labour government. The Department of Education has said that two-thirds of this funding, that’s €20 million euro, will come from existing resources. This is money that was already allocated to the Department by the previous government, therefore it would be disingenuous to sell it to the public as extra funding.
“I am calling on Minister Quinn to outline exactly where the €30 million he has announced is coming from. If it comprises of €20 million already allocated to the Department, the Minister must clarify what other schemes are being reduced. The previous government allocated almost €390 million to this year’s schools capital programme and it has already been announced that 453 schools will benefit from the summer works scheme this year. The Minister must clarify if the 380 schools in today’s announcement are in addition to the 453 announced in March this year?
“It seems that school building projects will be a cornerstone of the government’s jobs budget. But based on the details provided by the Education Minister so far, I am concerned that the much-hyped announcement will contain very little real news. The Fine Gael/Labour government have already proved their talent for headline-grabbing announcements with little substance.”