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Posts tagged ‘Minister for Education and Skills’

Help cut the cost of school books: Suport St.Vincent de paul Petition

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Education is a right, and it’s supposed to be free. But Ireland is one of only a few European countries to make even the poorest pay for books. It’s a shocking  burden on hard-pressed families.

By the time they leave school, a family with four children could have spent as much as €3,200 on secondary school books alone, that most of the time, can’t even be reused.

The constant flow of unnecessary new editions means that families are forced to keep forking out for new texts, while tonnes of books end up dumped. It’s crazy – and unnecessary.

A book rental scheme – fair for all

In most European countries schools run school book rental schemes, where schools buy the books and rent or loan them out to students in return for a small fee or deposit. This means that teachers can set a book and be sure that there are enough copies for all their students.

A book rental scheme would help every family in Ireland, and reduces the unnecessary spend on new school book editions each year.

Pushing for government action

At the Society of St Vincent de Paul we regularly see families come to us, struggling to deal with the costs of preparing the kids for a new school term. We want to see a change in policy which would lift some of this burden off families altogether. We’re meeting with the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn in a few weeks time to argue our case. Sign our petition to help us show how much this matters to people in Ireland.

At the moment the Department of Education and Skills gives money to schools to spend on books, but they don’t have to set up a book rental scheme. If funding for books only went to schools who had book rental schemes, more schools would set them up. Frequent new revisions would become a thing of the past as the books could be reused.

Join us – sign our petition above right to call on the Minister for Education and Skills to set up an effective book rental scheme.

Please follow link to sign petition  http://www.svp.ie/books

Ireland to-day

 

Noel Dempsey, Dermot Ahern and Tony Killeen have joined Mary Harney in resigning from Cabinet.

A spokesman for the Taoiseach confirmed that he had received letters of resignation from the three.

The ministers had already announced that they are not to contest the general election.

Their letters are to be forwarded to the President who will formally accept the resignations.

Their resignations bring the number of vacancies in the Cabinet to five.

Earlier, Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney announced that she had offered her resignation to the Taoiseach, after deciding not to contest the next General Election.

Ms Harney told RTÉ News this evening that she did not believe it was appropriate for someone who was not running in the election to continue to serve in Cabinet.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen has told the Dáil that the General Election will take place on Friday, 11 March.

Watch live

Mr Cowen said the Finance Bill will be brought before Dáil next week and will make its way through the legislative stages over the following weeks.

He also rejected the Labour Party notion that he was engaging in a stunt regarding the ministerial resignation and said the truth was far from it.

He said on the 11 March he will go to the country with a strong front bench line up and said the election was about the future of the country.

Mr Cowen also announced that President McAleese has accepted the resignations of Ministers Mary Harney, Dermot Ahern, Noel Dempsey, Tony Killeen and Batt O’Keeffe.

Mr Cowen paid tribute to their work. He also confirmed Batt O’Keeffe would not be contesting the election.

He has reassigned the following Government portfolios:

Department of Health and Children to the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Mary Coughlan.

Department of Transport to the Minister for Community, Equalilty and Gaeltact Affairs Pat Carey.

Department of Justice and Law Reform to Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smyth.

Department of Trade, Enterprise and Innovation to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture, Mary Hanafin.

Department of Defence to Minister for Social Protection Eamon O’Cuiv.

Earlier, Government Chief Whip John Curran has said he would be surprised if the Green Party pulled out of Government. He said the government parties remain committed to enacting legislation giving effect to the budget.

Meanwhile, Green Party are meeting to discuss the developments.

Earlier, the Dáil was suspended after Opposition parties condemned the way the Government was handling the situation.

Amid heated exchanges in the Dáil this morning, Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore said what had happened was disrespectful to the people.

He said the Government was disintegrating and said the moves would seriously impact on the running of the country.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said the resignations had been plotted and planned for the last couple of weeks and called on the Greens to stand up to their coalition partners.

He said Fianna Fáil had treated the Green Party with contempt.

Some 50,000 people will emigrate this year, and 25,000 jobs will be lost, according to the latest economic forecast from the Economic and Social Research Institute.

However, the ESRI says the economy is set to grow by 1.5% this year, with exports increasing by 6%.

In its latest quarterly commentary, the ESRI forecasts growth for the Irish economy of 2.25% of GDP next year.

Gross National Product, which excludes multinational profits, should grow by a 0.25% this year and 1.5% next year. This growth will be driven by continuing strong export performance.

But most job creation comes from the domestic sector, and here the ESRI says the combined effects of income tax increases in the budget, continuing problems in the banking industry, and a collapse in consumer confidence will depress demand, leading to some 25,000 fewer jobs.

Unemployment is forecast to average 13.5% this year, dropping slightly to 13% next year.

The ESRI expects emigration to pick up strongly, with some 50,000 forecast to emigrate this year. This compares to 44,000 who left the country in 1989, the peak year for emigration in the 1980s.

then we have this

Health Minister Mary Harney dramatically resigned last night and is now in line for a €310,000 pension payoff.

As her resignation brought closer a major cabinet re-shuffle, Sport and Tourism Minister Mary Hanafin clung on to her post and will escape the axe despite voting against Taoiseach Brian Cowen in the confidence ballot.

Following the departure of former Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin — and now Ms Harney — Mr Cowen is being urged to bring in new blood and freshen up the FF line up ahead of the general election.

Last night, Ms Harney announced she was not contesting the forthcoming general election.

The former Tanaiste and PD leader also offered her resignation as Health Minister to Mr Cowen, which he accepted.

Given Mr Martin’s departure, she said it would be appropriate to stand down.

Ms Harney will receive:

* An annual ministerial pension of about €69,200.

* A TD’s pension of around €50,600 per year.

* A pension lump sum of around €160,000.

* A termination lump sum of around €17,000.

* And a year of monthly termination payments from the Oireachtas worth another €66,900.

She will also get additional payments for serving as Tanaiste between 1997 and 2006 in the Fianna Fail-Progressive Democrat coalitions.

The €50,600 TD pension only kicks in once the monthly termination payments, paid the year immediately after retirement, have stopped.

The total package is at least €313,100 over the next year, whereas she would have received around €322,300 if he retired before the Budget.

But the Green Party is insisting the shake-up must not be used to delay the holding of the general election on March.

and this

FORMER Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin will qualify instantly for “obscene” severance payments of around €95,000 after quitting his job.

Under legislation introduced in 1992, ex-ministers and ex-attorney generals get severance payments for two years to compensate them for the loss of their ministerial salary of €98,745.

However, Mr Martin will be contesting the next general election, so he will not be claiming his ministerial pension (which would have been worth almost €75,000 per year) and a TD’s pension (worth around €54,000 per year).

Fine Gael Senator John Paul Phelan criticised the severance package for Mr Martin as “obscene”.

 

Comment:

 As the farcical Government top rats now run away from office I am beginning to wonder what monstrous secrets lurk within those fine offices that have forced them to such undignified exits.

Cowen and lenihan have for so long played the people of Ireland and have gotten used to ruling the country as if it were their own personal property bestowing jobs for their lackeys and cronies and even this action or even the promise of such rewards for the recent support for Cowen has now become unstuck .We are experiencing today in Ireland what it must have been like for the last days of Rome.

With all its corruption and betrayal we the people of Ireland stand innocent and betrayed once again by those we have invested our thrust in

Nothing but the total disbandment of Fianna Fail and the Green political parties should now be considered and criminal negligent charges and treason charges should be brought against these traitors

A full international investigation on all events that have brought our country into this sad state must be carried out and the treachery of the public office holders must be punished.

Fianna Fail’s last attempt of stroke pulling has blown up in Cowens face !

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