Government must increase Back to School clothing and footwear allowance – Brady
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has urged the Government to adequately address rising back to school costs once and for all. Deputy Brady said that increasing the Back to School Clothing and Footwear allowance in Budget 2018 by €50 for both primary and secondary school children in response to actual costs would be a worthy start.
Responding to the Irish League of Credit Unions annual back to school costs survey, Teachta Brady said:
“One in four parents will have to deny their children certain school items this year with 72% of parents saying back to school costs are a financial burden. This is a direct result of the Government’s failure to take control of spiralling back to school costs every single year.
“The Irish League of Credit Unions survey has put the average back to school spend at €1,048 for a primary school child and €1,401 for a secondary school child. They also found that 29% will get into debt to cover these costs.
“These costs are crippling families the length and breadth of the State at this time of year and this is especially difficult for lone parents, low income households and parents with more than one child of school going age.
“The recent announcement of an increase of 25% to the Back to School Clothing & Footwear Allowance is welcome but it is only a drop in the ocean when we look at the actual real life costs.
“The Government are continuing to fail parents and children when it comes to school costs. The fact that parents are falling into debt while struggling to cover these costs should be setting off alarm bells for the Government.
“Back to school costs has become an annual conversation and this will continue until the Government act. Budget 2018 affords the opportunity to do this and I am calling on the Government to increase the Back to School Clothing and Footwear allowance by €50 for both primary and secondary school children in response to actual costs.”