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With clear and determined leadership this nation will prosper again - Howlin

Posted on December 05, 2011 at 07:04 PM

"There is no hiding from the fact that, as a Government, we must take very difficult decisions. But these decisions that we must take in the long-term and strategic interests of the State and its citizens," the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin said yesterday when announcing the Budget 2012 expenditure estimates.

"We are at the start of a reform process. Today and tomorrow are significant days in that process but our work is ongoing. Our resources are more scarce but we do have some choices. And this Government is choosing to divert those scarce resources - albeit not at levels we previously enjoyed.

"As a country we have already endured four years of hardship. Yet we remain an innovative and creative people. Faced with a more benign European economy and with clear and determined leadership this nation will prosper again."

Among the measures announced include:

  • No change to core social welfare rates
  • No changes to State pension rates
  • DEIS schools in disadvantaged areas will continue to be provided with targeted supports over and above other schools
  • No reduction in the overall number of resource teachers and SNAs provided for children with special education needs is being maintained
  • During 2012 we will prioritise places, including in the further education and training sector, specifically for those on the Live Register for 12 months or more
  • We will also provide for a further roll-out of the 'Springboard' initiative, to provide conversion courses to up-skill and re-skill unemployed people to meet skills shortages in new and emerging sectors
  • The Government will be publishing its first annual Action Plan for Jobs which will contain a series of measures from across the entire range of Government, including quarterly targets for job delivery
  • Investment in education and schools is a key priority - ongoing education funding will cater for the very significant increase in public numbers over the medium term
  • The free pre-school year in early childhood care and education will be expanded to cater for demographic pressures
  • The Government is committed to building the new National Children's Hospital

You can view Minister Brendan Howlin's Budget 2012 expenditure estimates speech in the accompanying video and we have also contributions from our TDs and Ministers which access below.

Minister Joan Burton

Minister Pat Rabbitte

Minister Roisin Shortall

Minister Kathleen Lynch

Minister Ruairi Quinn

Deputy Aodhan O Riordain

Deputy Derek Nolan

Deputy Michael Conaghan

Deputy John Lyons

Deputy Gerald Nash

Deputy Robert Dowds

Deputy Ciaran Lynch

Senator Jimmy Harte

[Edited December 6th to include links]

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