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Sinn Féin day of action to highlight Back to School costs

17 August, 2019 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education and Skills Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD, speaking in advance of a Sinn Féin 'day of action' highlighting Back to School costs, has said that there is in an urgent need to tackle the cost of sending children to school; adding that Sinn Féin have proposed a ‘Back to School Bonus’ of €140 per child to be paid to all families in the summer months to help tackle rising cost.

The proposal is contained in a new policy document ‘Lets End Back to School Stress’, published by Sinn Féin. 

Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:

“Back to School costs make the summer months an extremely difficult time for many households. Every summer parents are put to the pin of their collar trying to organise uniforms, shoes, books, so-called ‘voluntary contributions’ and much more.

“More than any other time of year, it is abundantly clear that 'free education' is a myth and parents are forking out, on average, €949 to get children ready for primary school and €1,399 for secondary school. All of this is contributing to financial worry for many and that is why Sinn Féin is proposing a new 'Back to School Bonus' of €140 per child to be paid to all families in July.

“This would be a double payment of Child Benefit to be paid to all families for each child, which would go some way to tackling rising Back to School costs and help ease the burden on families during the summer months.

“We would also tackle the increasing use of so-called 'voluntary contributions' by properly funding schools through restoring Capitation Grants to pre-recession levels. 

“And we would legislate to ensure that schools work towards providing affordable uniforms, as well as increasing funding to the School Books Scheme to deliver free schoolbooks for all school children.

"Sinn Féin representatives and activists will be out throughout the State this weekend highlighting the challenges facing parents and families, and presenting our alternatives". ENDS

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