independent

Thursday 24 April 2014

VECs have €212m cash in their bank accounts

The country's 33 Vocational Education Committees (VECs) have as much as €212m between them in the bank at any one time.

Dublin City VEC had the biggest single balance of €59m, when the Department of Education asked it for figures.

The scale of cash in hand prompted the Budget decision to reduce the state grant to VECs by €13m for 2013.

Like the universities and institutes of technology, Education Minister Ruairi Quinn has told the VECs, on a once-off basis, to use their cash balances to help keep their service going next year.

The breakdown of what the VECs had on deposit in September was provided in response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fail education spokesman Charlie McConalogue.

The Irish Vocational Education Association (IVEA) said it did not mean that the VECs were sitting on large reserves.

IVEA general secretary Michael Moriarty said it was an "optical illusion" and large amounts of money could, for instance, be committed to a building project, but not yet paid out.

Meanwhile, as controversy raged over changes in the pupil/ teacher ratio for Post- Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses, which will cost 200 jobs, Mr Quinn accepted that it may lead to some reduction in subject choices for students.

City of Dublin VEC is losing 48 posts and Mr Quinn said that he had asked its CEO Jacinta Stewart to provide him with an impact analysis of the cuts announced in the Budget.

Irish Independent

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