There are alternatives to crippling back to school costs – Mary Lou McDonald TD
Every summer parents face mounting stress due to the financial burden of back to school costs.
The Barnardos report released today paints a stark picture of parents not paying bills or cutting back on other areas in order to meet these costs.
The Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald said “it doesn’t have to be this way” and that “there are alternatives” as outlined in the Sinn Féin “Lets End Back to School Stress” policy document.
“Every summer we see these reports of crippling back to school costs and the most frustrating thing is that it doesn’t have to be this way. There are alternatives. There are solutions that will ease the burden of stress and insecurity on parents provided the political will is there to implement them.
“Sinn Féin’s ‘Lets End Back to School Stress’ policy document shows how it can be done. For example we show how a €140 ‘back to school bonus’, to be paid to all families, would make a significant impact.
“We show how an increase in core funding would end the increasing use of so-called 'voluntary contributions'. We also show how legislation couldwork towards providing affordable uniforms and how increased funding to the School Books Scheme would deliver free school books for all school children.
“Most of all what our policy shows is that there are alternatives.
“There is a cost of living crisis and the government cannot sit on the sidelines and act as spectators. We have shown them the alternatives, now they need to take them and implement them.”
Note to editors: See link to full Sinn Féin “Lets End School Stress” document here: https://www.sinnfein.ie/files/2019/Lets_End_Back_to_School_Stress.pdf