Budget 2022 – another missed chance to remedy damage of an era of underinvestment

By piofficer, Tuesday, 12th October 2021 | 0 comments
  • Budget silent on pay discrimination
  •  No mention of second level PTR reduction 
  • Third level funding crisis will continue 

Comments from TUI General Secretary Michael Gillespie: 

‘While we await further detail on the headline Budget measures announced today, specifically in relation to teacher allocation, it is already clear that another chance has been missed to remedy the damage that an era of underinvestment and unrestored cutbacks has wreaked on the education system.  

As a country, we were already starting from a low base, with the latest OECD figures showing that of the countries for which figures are provided, none spend a lower proportion of national wealth on education than Ireland’s.’  

Budget silent on pay discrimination  

‘The Budget is silent on the ongoing scourge of pay discrimination affecting those appointed since 2011, a situation which has driven a recruitment and retention crisis in second level schools and colleges.’  

No mention of reduction of second level PTR 

‘It is disappointing in the extreme that there is no mention of a reduction in PTR at second level at a time when the challenges of COVID-19 have made clear how resource-starved and overcrowded our schools are. TUI has already called for the additional teaching allocation set out to deal with the pandemic to be made permanent as a first small step towards redressing a situation that sees us bottom of the pile in OECD terms in relation to second level spending.’  

Third level funding crisis 

‘At third level, the ongoing refusal to address the sector’s funding crisis continues, and students will continue to suffer as a result. At a time when there is an ongoing focus on the key role of education in our economic and social development, the funding crisis risks inflicting severe operational and reputational damage on our education system. The ratio of students to teaching staff in the sector has increased from 20:1 to 23:1 according to the latest OECD figures, which is vastly higher than the OECD and European averages of 15:1.’ 

Abolition of €200 fee for Post Leaving Certificate courses   

‘We welcome the abolition of the €200 fee for Post Leaving Certificate courses, a measure which TUI has demanded for a number of years.’   

Corporation tax changes means education must be prioritised  

‘With the new changes to our corporation tax mechanism, it has never been more crucial that investment in our education system at all levels be increased seismically to protect and enhance our reputation internationally, and this Budget has failed to recognise this.’ 

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