Back To School costs cannot be ignored in Budget 2020 – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD
Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Education and TD for Cork South-Central Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has today called on the Ministers for Finance and Education to address the crippling costs of sending children back to school in the upcoming budget.
Teachta Ó Laoghaire was speaking following todays Education Committee hearing on Back to School costs;
“Budget 2020, like many gone before it, provides the Government with a chance to assist working families, and to address the crippling costs of sending children back to school.
“Back to School costs make the summer months an extremely difficult time for many households. 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, €380 to get children ready for primary school and €736 for secondary school.
“The vast majority of families get no support for these huge costs. Sinn Féin is proposing a new 'Back to School Bonus' of €140 per child to be paid to all families in July; something which will be included in our Alternative Budget document.
“We’ve also included other measures which will soften the blow to families in the cost of sending children back to school in terms of providing free school books, and legislation to tackle uniform costs.
“What our budget will do is demonstrate the fact the Governments make choices when it comes to who wins from their budget changes.
“Families are being ripped off in many aspects of their lives, and it is the choice of the relevant Ministers whether or not they are worthy of a helping hand.”