11/02/2019

FF Call For School Building Assurances Amid Hospital Crisis

Fianna Fáil has called on Minister for Education Joe McHugh to ensure that no planned school builds will be cut as a result of the ongoing cost crisis regarding the Children's Hospital.

The Party's Education Spokesperson, Thomas Byrne, expressed worry over plans to slash capital budgets to mitigate the effects of "Fine Gael's complete mismanagement of the Children's Hospital budget".

He commented: "Despite the protestations of Minister Harris that capital budgets are multi annual, this is clearly untrue. We are hardly even into a multi week situation in 2019 and building projects are already being paired back. The children of Ireland will be the ultimate losers as the fallout from the hospital overspend continues. They don't deserve to be hit with a double whammy via a cut to school building projects."

Deputy Byrne continued: "This government is already falling behind on school buildings, with many new schools without permanent sites and other older buildings in a state of disrepair. It is essential that Minister Joe McHugh does not accept a cut to his building budget. He must stand up for the children of this country.

“Unfortunately, the Children's Hospital debacle is likely to have ramifications beyond 2019. Minister McHugh must therefore get a multi annual commitment that his school building budget is ring-fenced and increased as necessary. A commitment not to cut in 2019 is not sufficient.

"Minister McHugh gave a very wishy washy answer on this matter when I asked him in the Dáil last week. That is just not good enough for our children," the Fianna Fáil TD concluded.



(JG/CM)

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