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St Vincent De Paul face unprecedented pressure for support - Seán Crowe TD

28 August, 2015 - by Seán Crowe TD

Dublin South West representative Seán Crowe TD has described reports of up to 10,000 struggling families across Tallaght and Clondalkin being supported by St Vincent de Paul (SVP) with back-to-school cost as unprecedented but hardly surprising.

Crowe said that traditionally at this time of year with children returning to school there is huge financial pressures on parents with clearly the buzz talk of a recovery not filtering into the mind-set of these families.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“There is an unprecedented demand on the St Vincent De Paul particularly at this time of the year as more and more parents struggle and are turning the charity to meet the growing
back-to-school costs.

“As children return to school this week, the  St Vincent De Paul isexpecting to pay out over a €100,000 to assist over 10,000 hard pressed parents with the cost of fees, books, uniforms and other ancillary costs in Tallaght and the Clondalkin area.

“Many of the families are new and reflect the growing amount of cash poor individuals and family units.

“The talk of recovery and a new beginning is nonsensical and seems like a million miles away. The recovery buzz words have not filtered into the mind-set of many of these families struggling to make ends meet.

“Demands on some parents locally have been exasperated in recent weeks, as many families were left waiting for the Government’s‘back-to-school’ grant – a payment which covers a fraction of a child’s back-to-school costs.

“The Back to School Allowance is available to a small cohort of families but many complain that aside from the delay it is not fit for purpose, with the gap between the allowance and the cost of sending a child to school growing every year.

“Currently the means tested grant is available for children between 4 years - 11years is 100 euro, between 12 years – 22 years, it is 200 euro, with the stipulation that the student between the age of 18 years and 22 years has to be attending fulltime College.

“With many families already crippled by austerity measures and increased charges, the biggest worry at this time of the year is sourcing expensive new uniforms and other additional equipment to send their children to school.

“Back to School Cost continue to rise with many families relying on charities like St Vincent De Paul for additional support. It should come as no surprise to anyone that the demands are increasing rather decreasing.”

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