Government back pedal on Deis cuts shows people power is working but pressure must be maintained

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Richard Boyd Barrett TD, ULA Finance and Education spokesperson said today that the Government’s about turn on planned cuts to the Deis schools was entirely a victory for people power and the protests mounted by parents, pupils and teachers from disadvantaged areas around the country.

Deputy Boyd Barrett stated that Minister Quinn must now, having admitted his terrible mistake, clarify if there will be a full and immediate reversal of all Deis cuts.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said the Minister must clarify for example, whether Deis bands 1 and 2 will be retained in full as they are and the additional resources referred to by the Department of Education as so called "legacy posts".

Deputy Boyd Barrett said it should be made clear if proposed cuts in learning support teachers under the general allocation model are now also being abandoned.

Minister Quinn has said that if he is to reverse anything he will have to make cuts elsewhere in education and this is not good enough. There are alternatives to cutting vital budgets in areas such as Education. A small increase in tax on the wealth in this country would cover the needs of the Education sector.

Richard Boyd Barrett said in his statement, “Parents, teachers and children have to keep up their campaign and keep the pressure on Minister Quinn and this government because this back pedalling has shown people power can force the government’s hand”.

“I encourage every principal, teacher, parent and pupil to get to the Dail on Thursday 19th January at 3.30pm when the Dublin branches of the INTO will be protesting before Minister Ruairi Quinn takes questions in the Dail at 4.30pm”.

“There should be no question of any other cuts in Education. We have to insist that this government puts children come first and not the dictats of the Troika”.