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The age of austerity continues… September 20, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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An unexpected source for a pretty sound observation this last weekend in the IT. Where it is noted:

This incessant [school] fundraising is necessary because the funding per pupil, known as the capitation grant, has never been restored to the pre-recession levels of €200 per child.  
Second-level schools complain, with complete justification, that their capitation grant of €309 per student is utterly inadequate. But the primary sector suffers even more from underfunding, with recent increases only bringing it up to €179 per pupil, just under one euro per school day.

And there’s a much broader point – not dismissing the importance of primary education at all – that this is a pattern we see time and again where ‘austerity’ remains, with expenditures stripped away during the economic crash not reinstated.

That deficit of €21 is considerable, but there’s another aspect, because school numbers have increased yet further. And then there’s the impact of the crash itself on families, as O’Brien notes:

Focus Ireland and the INTO recently published guidelines for the 27 per cent of primary schools which have some of the 2,250 children currently homeless. Children are to be provided discreetly with clean clothing or upcycled uniforms, basic hygiene supplies such as toothbrushes and hairbrushes, snacks and somewhere to nap, such as bean bags.

Impoverishment isn’t a single event but a process that is inter-generational. The effects of the mistakes before the crisis and the crisis itself will persist for many many years yet to come. There’s something more than faintly scandalous in all this to see the pieces in the media about personal taxation cuts when this continues, and again, not just in education.

And there’s also the sense that Brexit has used a fair portion of the political oxygen that might otherwise have been available to bring home these realities.

Comments»

1. EWI - September 20, 2019

And there’s also the sense that Brexit has used a fair portion of the political oxygen that might otherwise have been available to bring home these realities.

I would disagree – I see the problem lying in the fact that both FF and Labour acquiesced to these FG policies at the time and therefore find themselves utterly unable to oppose them now, even if they wanted to (the finger-pointing by FG ministers whenever FF/Lab people even appraoch a critical stance shows what’s going on).

What both FF and Labour need is a change of leadership to people who didn’t collaborate in ‘austerity’.

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Daniel Rayner O'Connor - September 20, 2019

Where could they find them?

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EWI - September 20, 2019

Where could they find them?

That’s a very good question. A Momentum-equivalent here could do something about the Labour Party, but I’m flummoxed as to where FF might find renewal (most left-republican activists seem to either remain independent or go towards PSF as the only large party platform).

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2. gypsybhoy69 - September 26, 2019

Can anybody explain this one to me:
Recently under some volunteer scheme a group of employees from an organisation went out to paint a room in a DEIS school (heard this from a friend 😉). Obviously the DEIS school couldn’t afford to do it and as somebody who went to the equivalent of a DEIS school, although they probably went by the term underprivileged school or something similarly awful back in the day, I can understand them availing of any help.
But here’s the rub. The employees didn’t really volunteer, they still got paid for the day and a free lunch. Throw in the fact that 4 of them were Directors and 2 of them were managers and you’d have to ask yourself with that much money being thrown at it, would it not have been cheaper for the organisation to pay for professional painters to do the job.
Of course the organisation got to put up lots of photos and with it lots of free publicity as to how wonderful they are. Maybe I’m getting too cynical but this has to be wrong on so many levels.

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WorldbyStorm - September 26, 2019

I’m involved in a Deis school and I think that’s an interesting story – there’s definitely a push by corporate interests to get ‘involved’ themselves usually as a PR thing. Something to be b careful about

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