€1.2m cost of paper payslips for teachers - that's 12 classrooms
THE Government is forking out over €1.2m each year to provide payslips for teachers, the Herald can reveal.
The figure equates to the funding of 12 individual classrooms.
Over €1.2m was spent on the production, printing and delivery of payslips to individual teachers last year.
And despite the Coalition Government's pledge to make key savings, almost €600,000 has been splashed out on payslips this year alone.
The cost is sure to infuriate cash-strapped families, particularly because other government departments adopted paper-free systems years ago.
The Departments of Health and Transport no longer issue payslips in paper form, reducing their costs significantly.
In response to a parliamentary question lodged by Labour TD Kevin Humphreys, Education and Skills Minister Ruairi Quinn stated that it was "not practical" to proceed with an electronic system.
"Consideration was given by officials in my department in 2010, to making payslips available electronically to serving and retired school employees on the department's payrolls," he said.
"Following consideration, it was decided that it was not practical ... due to a number of practical and logistical issues including the initial set-up cost."
However Deputy Humphreys told the Herald that this is an obvious area where savings can be made.
"€1.2m may sound insignificant in the larger scale of things but we're talking about an amount that can fund 12 classrooms and dozens of extra prefab facilities," he said.
"It's certainly an area that we can make significant savings which can then be used to fund the vital parts of our education system," he added.
Independent TD Finian McGrath described the figures as "an appalling waste" and said it was an insult particularly to children with special needs.
"I am calling on the Minister to cut out this complete waste of money on paper when we have parents across the country fearing that their child is going to lose valuable hours with their special needs assistant.
"It's despicable that this Government is continuing to throw money away at a time when our children are being educated in grossly inadequate conditions."