SIPTU has stated that proposed cutbacks in the education sector should be restricted to reducing the public funds which are provided to subsidise fee paying private schools. SIPTU Dublin District Council chairperson, Jack McGinley, said: “We understand that Department of Education officials have drawn up a comprehensive list of areas in which savings can be applied, and how much must be saved in each area, unless the education budget is supplemented for 2014.“In SIPTU’s view any cuts should be restricted to reducing the allocation of public funds to the private fee paying school sector. Making a cut of between €40 million and €50 million in private school funding would bring greater equality to the education sector. This reduction in funding would begin to redress the imbalance and inequalities in the primary, secondary and third level education sectors which cannot afford any further attrition on their current funding.”Jack McGinley added: “SIPTU notes that the 50 plus fee charging schools currently have approximately €80 million available to them above that which is available to similarly sized free schools. SIPTU is also of the view that any cuts in funding should have regard to the size and religious ethos of schools.“In the end education should be a social good available to all and not a commodity to be traded and looked after by hierarchies and elites. SIPTU calls on Minister Quinn and his Department to begin the journey to bring true equality to Irish education.”