‘Slash and burn cuts are completely unacceptable’

Sinn Fein Foyle MLA Karen Mullan.
Sinn Fein Foyle MLA Karen Mullan.

Low-income households will bear the brunt of ‘slash and burn’ cuts by the Education Department, Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Karen Mullan has warned.

Speaking after a Sinn Féin delegation met with senior department officials, the Foyle MLA said that cutting budget allocations was “completely unacceptable” at a time when many local families were already struggling.

Ms. Mullan said: “A Sinn Féin delegation met with the Department of Education to challenge their recent budget decisions.

“Children and families living on low incomes will be directly impacted by planned cuts to school uniform grants, the extended schools budget and the Sports Development Programme. That is completely unacceptable.”

Ms. Mullan added that the Department should now withdraw its plans.

“This is nothing more than a series of ill-thought out, vicious slash and burn cuts which are in the most part directed towards children and families living on low incomes,” she said.

“The Department should immediately reverse this course of action and employ appropriate budgeting standards and procedures in line with its responsibilities under the Good Friday Agreement, the Child Poverty Act and the Child Poverty Strategy.

“While we acknowledge that the Department is facing considerable financial pressures we cannot accept their rationale to target children from low-income families in this manner.”