Tuesday, 3 February 2004

Questions (180)

Charlie O'Connor

Question:

308 Mr. O'Connor asked the Minister for Education and Science if the additional funding available to his Department gives hope to those schools awaiting sanction for works; if he will outline the schedule he will now follow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2776/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Science)

The level of capital funding to be provided for the primary and post-primary school building programme for 2004 amounts to €387 million and in excess of €200 million of this will be targeted at primary school projects. This compares very favourably with the €342.9 million available in 2003. In addition to the 2004 school building programme, which I published last December, a further €30 million will be spent on school building this year. I intend to publish details of how the additional €30 million will be allocated tomorrow.

The budget announcement regarding multi-annual capital envelopes will enable me to adopt a multi-annual framework for the school building programme which in turn will give greater clarity regarding projects that are not progressing in this year's programme. I will make a further announcement in that regard during the year. The level of funding provided for the 2004 school building programme is further evidence of the Government's consistent commitment since 1997 to education and to the modernisation of school buildings.