Fianna Fáil TD for Longford/Westmeath Robert Troy has claimed the Government’s failure to commit to a Minor Works Grant for schools is resulting in higher costs for parents.
The Minor Works Grant provides funding for the constant upkeep and maintenance of schools. The scheme has been consistently underfunded by the Government in recent years which has led to schools having to forgo essential maintenance work.
“The Minor Works Grant provides essential funding to schools to allow them operate on a day to day basis. It is used to help repair damage such as leaking roofs, broken heating systems and smashed windows. Schools have been denied this basic funding in recent years, and once again this year there is no budgetary provision for the scheme,” explained Deputy Troy.
He added, “I have raised this matter with Minister for Education Richard Bruton and have pressed him on the need to provide funding for the scheme as a matter of urgency. The Minister has so far refused to provide this funding and has said the issue will not be reviewed until later in the year. This is unacceptable when you consider schools are back for nearly two months at this stage, and many have been unable to carry out essential maintenance works due to a lack of funding.
“The result is that schools are having to hike up voluntary contribution charges to cover the upkeep of buildings. This shouldn’t be the case. Voluntary contributions should not be used for basic needs like lighting and heating repairs and toilet upkeep. The Government needs to come up its game and provide funding for the Minor Works Grant so that parents aren’t out of pocket at the end of the year,” concluded Deputy Troy.