Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - National Schools Maintenance.

12.

asked the Minister for Education if he proposes to increase the local contribution towards the maintenance of national schools in line with the announced increase in Departmental grants for this purpose.

The increase in the Departmental grant from £6 to £8 per pupil is conditional on the local contribution being increased from £1.50 to £2 per pupil.

Is the Minister aware that the announcement referred to in the question was made before the change of Government? Will he also inform the House whether or not this now actually means the abandonment of the commitment in his party's election manifesto to introduce an immediate increase in capitation grants for primary schools?

I would draw the Deputy's attention to the fact that not one extra penny was paid and that provision will have to be made for this in the budget in January, 1978, and the first payment made in 1978 in accordance with the usual provisions of the scheme.

Is the Minister saying that all he is doing is honouring a commitment made by the last administration, that there is no further money forthcoming on foot of election promises?

Does the Deputy suggest that I should not honour the commitment of Deputy P. Barry?

No, I am suggesting that the Minister should honour the commitment of his own party which is not now being honoured immediately.

Immediately.