Back to school clothing and footwear increase does not go far enough – Nolan
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education and Skills Carol Nolan TD has said that the increase in Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is welcome but does not go far enough.
Teachta Nolan said;
“I want to welcome the 25% increase in the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance and the additional €10 million announced for the scheme by the Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar.
“Sinn Féin has consistently called for an increase in this payment in order to assist low income families meet Back to School Costs.
“In our alternative budget and manifesto we proposed an additional payment of €50 per child and an additional spend of €14 million as an initial first step.
“This increase does not even restore the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance to 2011 rates when the payments were €200 for primary school pupils and €305 for post primary school children.
“Unfortunately, this increase does not go far enough in order to assist families in meeting the increasing costs of sending children back to school, with some surveys showing the average cost per child reaching as high as over €1,000.
“Figures from the European Anti Poverty Network show that the consistent poverty rates for children in Ireland rose from 6.3% in 2008 to 11.5% in 2015.
“Lone Parent Households in particular experience shocking levels of consistent poverty with figures showing an increase from 17.8% to 26.2% between 2008 and 2015.
“The Fine Gael Government has stood over policies that have increased poverty levels for the most vulnerable of children in this state.
“For many this measure is too little too late.”