Saturday 22 October 2016

Children outdo TDs making the Children's Budget 2017

Daire Courtney

Published 06/10/2016 | 15:15

A group of fourth-class students presented their ideas for Budget 2017 at Government Buildings yesterday, and they seem to have somewhat shown up our elected TDs.

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Thirty-six children from St James’s Primary School, Basin Lane, presented their budget to Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone. They're hoping she'll take their ideas on, and we wouldn't be surprised if she did.

Moira Salang, aged 10 years, who worked on the project as the ‘Minister for Children and Youth Affairs’, said “In the end, we chose things that we think would make a big difference and would help kids. One of our best ideas was to have a breakfast club where children can have breakfast in school for free. I hope Minister Zappone likes our ideas and uses one or two in the big budget in October.”

Among the other suggestions were €50 million for Irish Language Day, €100 million for ‘home-like’ nursing homes and €300 million for new schools.

The kids may have made the politicians arguing out the budget in Government Buildings feel a little silly, having got their budget done in the course of just one workshop

The budget was created with the help of Junior Achievement Ireland, through an interactive workshop where students sat down and negotiated their aims.

“Today we learned how to work as a team. We all wanted different things but we had to decide together.”

Well, if only our lot could do this good a job and in such a short time. It looks like Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil could use a masterclass in compromise from this bright young class.

 “I’m hoping to make the world a better place,” one girl told the camera after outlining her suggestion for a new children’s hospital. A future President in the making, we have no doubt.

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