Investment in Education
Government's programme of investment in new colleges is attractive and needs to be speeded up. GRTU has been recommending since 2005 that Government should have a strategy for all the buildings falling under the Ministry of Education. Some of these buildings have now outlived their purpose as schools of education centers, occupying prime cites in most Localities. Government should devise a specific policy for the reuse of these sites both for social and commercial purposes. Government can generate new funds from the privatization of selected sites and the revenue can be utilized to speed up the building of new collages.
Many of the older buildings cannot be refitted for the standards and class room sizes and facilities of new educational establishments and most of the old sites are bad examples of efficient use of a scarce and costly resource like land in the town and city cores.
Government spends €2,600 per student in state aided education. Parents who send their children to fee paying private schools are given only a maximum of €700 per child. GRTU recommends that families in fee paying schools receive the full educational charge of €2,600 as taxable deductions.
Government should now move on to the second stage of the pension reform and hold discussions with GRTU and other private sector organizations to ensure that the self employed and workers employed by the private sector can contribute to the second pillar taxation schemes, in addition to the basic pension scheme under the national pension service.
Government must be willing to provide all the necessary tax relief to encourage the growth of new stakeholder's pension schemes.