29 October 2008

Quinn calls Budget "a Dog's Dinner"

The Irish Labour Party's spokesman on Education (and former party leader) Ruairi Quinn (left) has described the 2009 Budget as "a dog's dinner" and said that its measures are "an attack on children".

Quinn was speaking on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning, where the Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources Eamon Ryan (Green Party) said there was "not a cut in the education budget, but a € 300 million increase".
Ryan said he did not want to see education bearing the brunt of the financial crisis, but at the same time he did not think it would be right to "completely ignore the possibility of achieving savings or getting greater efficiency".

However, Declan Kelleher (photo right), President of the Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO) has said that primary school children are "the least funded sector in the Irish education system".
Kelleher was speaking ahead of a demonstration by teachers, parents and students outside Leinster House in Dublin this evening, in protest against the planned cutbacks .
The campaign to stop the cutbacks would be fought from every parish in the State, Kelleher stated defiantly.

Earlier the Minister for Education Batt O'Keeffe (photo left) accused teachers' unions of "scaremongering".
In an interview on RTÉ's Prime Time programme last night, O'Keeffe said that the government would "not change its stance on the issue".

The Dáil resumed this afternoon amidst the continuing controversy over the government's Budget proposals.

Attention will centre this evening on a Labour Party private members' motion, criticising the cuts in education funding which will focus attention on the Green Party's position on this issue.

Fianna Fáil backbenchers faced opposition taunts last week, and this time it will be the turn of the junior partners in government. The Greens must now effectively defend proposals that will see class sizes in Irish schools rise.

Yesterday the Green Party said it was "committed to remaining in government", prompting one of their most prominent members - Clontarf Councillor Bronwen Maher (right), the only Green member of Dublin City Council - to suggest her own party has "no moral or political bottom line".

Last night a party spokesman said the Green Party was "disappointed and a little puzzled by her comments".

Well, as I expressed in my analysis yesterday, the Green Party is now waking up to the realities of Irish politics and has to live with the fact that it joined their main enemy's camp last year. (see yesterday's entry fro details)
There is really only one alternative: Either the Greens betray their moral and political principles of 25 years' standing (as Bronwyn Maher noticed), or they leave the government coalition and thus trigger an early general election.

The Emerald Islander

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How many of the people making decisions about education have one themselves not to mention have enough knowledge about children to decide what an appropriate education consists of. Higher class sizes only takes away from a good learning experience.

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