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Back to School Allowance delays must be tackled – Seán Crowe, TD

29 August, 2011 - by Seán Crowe TD

Commenting on the mounting concerns that many families who have applied for the Back to School Allowance may have to wait until late October before receiving the grant, Sinn Féin’s Education Spokesperson Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“Children, regardless of their social or economic background, have the right to attend school in comfortable fitting clothing and in this time of economic hardship it is essential that hard pressed families are assisted in preparing their child for school.

“The current debacle around the processing of the Back to School Allowance reflects a lack of planning and foresight on behalf of the government who should have had the personnel in place to deal with the increased number of applications.

“They could also have learnt from my party colleague, Caitríona Ruane, MLA, who when Minister for Education in the North’s Assembly increased the uniform allowance for parents in receipt of income support. By the end of August 2009, there were 24,135 successful applications for the grant with many more to follow and all of which were processed without undue delay.

“If Minister Quinn is serious about easing the financial burden faced by parents attempting to send their child to primary school then he must do all within his power to ensure the Back to School Allowance is paid on time. This is vital in order to help parents met the spiralling cost of sending their child to school at this time of year.” ENDS

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