>> 27 Oct 2004


The cash crisis that afflicts the Belfast and South Eastern education boards has resulted in a Trade Unions (scourge of the Earth) calling for the Education Minister, Bazza Gardiner, to resign from his position as the row over funding for two cash-strapped boards gathered pace.

I have nothing but sympathy for Gardiner and nothing but contempt for the ludicrous Nipsa Branch secretary, Brian Booth, who whines: "The Minister of Education is being totally unreasonable expecting the boards to live within budget..."

There we have it - the fatcat reckless attitude of the public sector manifest. Everyone else in any other walk fo life has to learn how to budget, and to ensure that they live within their means. Everyone but the Education Boards it seems. The Management of these Boards which are u to £20 million in the red should be sacked, and then the individuals should be prosecuted for presiding over a shocking waste of tax payers monies.

The DUP's Sammy Wilson said that the same pressures experienced by the SEELB and BELB were felt across Northern Ireland. "The Minister has made it clear that he has no pot of gold and will not raid the coffers of other boards to help out the SEELB and BELB. The question then is how then will these boards get back to a balanced budget.All the time the clock is ticking towards the end of another financial year and is pointing towards another financial overspend."

Poor Sammy seems to have spent too much time in the class room and not enough time in the real world,. He should get out more. The Education Boards will ONLY achieve a balanced budget when they learn to how to manage their income against their outgoings - its kinda simple! If a Board cannot control the finances of the organisation over which it presides it should be dismissed. That is what should now happen to the profligate Belfast and South Eastern Education Boards.


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