Local Fianna Fáil TD, John Curran has said that the indication from Government that it is unlikely to provide the Minor Works Grants Scheme in 2018, is deeply worrying for school principals and Boards of Management in Dublin Mid-West.
Deputy Curran said, “The Minor Works Grant funding will be paid this month to primary schools nationwide including those in Dublin Mid-West but we have now learned that it is likely to be provided for in 2019.
“Local Fine Gael representative, Frances Fitzgerald last week acknowledged the importance of the Minor Works Grant to schools in Dublin Mid-West, yet her party colleague Education Minister Richard Bruton does not appear to recognise how much schools depend on the funding year-in-year out.
“Let me be clear – this not a discretionary grant but, rather, money on which schools have come to rely on every year to do necessary minor works and without which they could not function.
“Minister Bruton’s indication that the grant may not be paid in 2018-2019 will be a huge cause of fear for Principals and Boards of Management in our schools.
“The only year that this grant was not rolled out was 2012, during the height of recession. It would be bizarre if, as the economy starts to turn, this were to be the key turning point at which the grant would not be paid.
“What should happen and what Fianna Fáil advocates for, is that the scheme and others like it should be put on a statutory footing such that Ministers would not have discretion over them.
Curran concluded, “I hope that as part of the national capital plan Deputy Fitzgerald and Minister Bruton will highlight to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Donohoe, that the grant is absolutely necessary for schools.”