Varadkar’s last minute increase to the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is “too little, too late.”
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has said that Leo Varadkar’s last minute increase to the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is “too little too late.”
Speaking this afternoon Teachta Brady said:
“Typically, any increase in a payment such as the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is welcome however, when the gap between the payment and the reality of costs is so wide, it is difficult to welcome such a tiny increase.
“Back to school costs are increasing year on year and a payment of €125 and €250 comes nowhere close to the actual costs of sending a child to school. This payment should reflect the actual cost and even with this increase, it does not.
“Several surveys conducted by various organisations have put actual costs at between €800 and in some cases, over €1,000.
“I have put this fact to Leo Varadkar on numerous occasions in my calls to him to increase this payment, and time and time again, he opposed these calls and even went as far as saying that the payment at its current levels was sufficient as costs were falling.
“Yesterday, St Vincent de Paul launched their Pre Budget Submission and they have called for the restoration of this payment to its former 2011 levels of €305 for children over 12 and €200 for children under 12. This is the direction we need to go in and that can be achieved in Budget 2018.
“Of course, Leo Varadkar could have increased this payment last year in Budget 2017 as Sinn Féin had called for but he chose not to. Instead, timing is everything, and the increase comes today on his last day as Minister for Social Protection.
“This increase is far too little, too late.”