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Monopoly racket on school uniforms must end – Crowe

9 August, 2011 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Seán Crowe TD has called on Minister Rúairí Quinn to ‘get his act together’ and do everything in his power to bring down the costs of sending children to school including the growing costs of school uniforms.

Deputy Crowe said the Minister has failed to deliver on his promised reforms in relation to this matter.

Speaking today Deputy Crowe said:

“The cost of sending children to school is putting huge financial strain on thousands of families who are already suffering the effects of the recession and the budget cutbacks.

“It is essential that everything that can be done to reduce these costs is done. This must include bringing an end to the current situation which sees a small number of retailers charging a fortune for school jumpers which have the crests emblazoned on them.

“Some retailers are clearly abusing the monopoly they have on the market for school uniforms. It has been described as an out and out racket by many of the parents that I have spoken to.

“This significant cost factor could be transformed overnight if each school provided students with crests for a small cost to be sown onto standard school jumpers.

“The issue of school books also needs to be looked into. The use of books that require students to write answers into them means that these books cannot be passed onto other students at the end of the year.

“This also needs to change and the Minister needs act on this and the many other ways to reduce school costs.

“When I raised this issue with the Minister at a meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills in July he agreed to consider some initiatives but so far we have seen nothing and parents are still struggling.

“This is simply not good enough from the Minister. Parents have been expecting action to be taken yet nothing has happened. He needs to get his act together and introduce new initiatives to bring down the costs of sending children to school.” ENDS

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