Deputy Jackie Cahill
Tipperary TD Fianna Fail Jackie Cahill has said that it is "high time" that the Government pays out money to schools under its Minor Works Grants Scheme.
Deputy Cahill said he was inundated with calls and texts from parents, teachers and school managers from across Tipperary to say that they are still waiting for money to be paid out under the scheme.
"They are deeply concerned by the non-payment of the grants this year. The grants are usually paid every November but here we are on the last day of the month and schools are still waiting for their funds," said the TD.
Deputy Cahill said that Minister Bruton had announced that the Department was having a look to see if there was any spare money to make payments under the scheme for this year.
"This is extraordinary to say the least. There is a growing concern that the Minister's attitude stems from a belief that he considers such grants to be optional rather than necessary," he said.
Deputy Cahill said that the truth was that many schools were forced to use the grant to supplement the inadequate Capitation Grants. For some smaller schools, the Minor Works Grant can be almost a third of their yearly budget.
"The delay in the Minister making the announcement of these grants is causing great concern and anxiety for school principals and boards of management. It needs a resolution immediately," said Deputy Cahill.