Cuts to Back to School allowance only put pressure on parents – Brady
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has today been responding to the findings of the annual Credit Union Back to School Costs survey. The survey highlights the substantial costs of sending children to school at an average cost of €967 to send a child back to primary school and €1,474 for secondary school.
Deputy Brady said:
“The huge cost of sending children back to school is something I have raised in recent weeks with the Minister for Social Protection on the back of a similar survey carried out by Barnardo’s in 2015. The Minister’s response in relation to these costs was out of touch and provided little hope that any considerable measures would be put in place by the Government any time soon.
“On asking the Minister to increase the Back to School Clothing & Footwear Allowance in light of these high back to school costs, he could not give any guarantees.
“Today, we see a survey showing even higher costs that are nowhere near covered by the current rates provided under the Back to School Clothing & Footwear Allowance yet, the Government cannot commit to increasing this payment. The current rates in place give €100 towards primary school costs and €200 towards second level costs.
“This time of year is particularly difficult for families. This is reflected in this survey which shows that one third of parents get into debt preparing their children to return to school with two thirds of parents saying the costs negatively impact on household bills and family plans.
“Sinn Féin has been consistently calling for an increase in the Back to School Clothing & Footwear Allowance in recognition of the increasing financial pressure on parents to cover the majority of back to school costs on their own. It is unacceptable that parents are getting into debt in order to cover these costs and the Government continue to do nothing.”
Note: I would encourage those who can to participate in the Barnardo’s School Survey costs for 2016 online at http://www.barnardos.ie/schoolcosts16