Calleary calls for permanent reinstatement of Summer Works Scheme

Small schoolsMayo Deputy Dara Calleary has called on local Fine Gael Deputies to make a firm
commitment to permanently reinstating the Summer Works Scheme and Minor Works
Grant for schools.

It comes after the Government finally agreed to reinstate the Summer Works Scheme
on a temporary this year.

Deputy Calleary has welcomed the long-overdue announcement but has said it’s essential
that this is not just an election stunt.

“This scheme, along with the Minor Works Grant, was suspended for the last two years.
Many schools across Co Mayo that depend on these modest supports to carry out
essential maintenance works have been crippled by debt as result,” said Deputy
Calleary.

“I welcome the fact that the Government has finally realised the impact that the
two year suspension has had on schools in Mayo and across the country.  It will
come as a welcome relief that many local schools that have waited for two years
for support from this Government may now get some much needed investment.

“However I have concerns about the timing of this announcement just
ahead of the local and European elections.  It is crucial that this announcement
is not politically motivated and timed just to salvage some votes for Fine Gael
and Labour on May 23rd.   It must be about a new willingness on
behalf of this Government to reinstate these vital supports in the
long-term.

“Because all schools in Mayo have been denied access to this scheme for the past two
years, there is a major backlog in the number of schools that urgently need
investment for essential works.   Reinstating the schemes temporarily to
coincide with an election campaign is not good enough.  We need a firm
commitment from Fine Gael that the schemes will be reinstated
permanently.

“So far the Government has refused to commit to keeping the Summer Works Scheme and
Minor Works Grant next year.  If this latest announcement is more than just
electioneering, the Government must make this commitment now.  Mayo schools that
are in serious financial difficulty and won’t receive the full investment they
need to know that the schemes will be open again next year.”