12 July 2017
By Elaine Murphy
Parents must be supported with ‘astronomical Back to School Costs’ – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD (Cork South Central) raised concerns about the ever spiralling costs of sending children back to school.
The summer months pose some difficult financial situations for many parents throughout the State, and the Government must step in to alleviate some of this pressure.
The Cork South-Central TD said;
“Parents face into some of the most expensive months of the year, as the scrabbling and saving begins in the hope of having the money to send children back to school this September.
“Pressure mounts on families as they struggle to make ends meet while having to purchase uniforms, shoes and books, while also trying to meet their monthly payments with other bills.
“The average cost of sending a child back to school at primary level is close to €1,000, while sending a secondary school student is estimated to cost €1,500. This is not a cheap endeavour.
“Regressive cuts to supports for families have led to situations in which low and middle income families find themselves literally unable to put food on the table.
“You couple all the above with Childcare and Mortgage costs and it is easy to see why many families will see themselves pinching pennies this coming September.
“We live in a country where the concept of free education is enshrined in our constitution as an opportunity afforded to all children.
“This idea has become one of myth however as we move further from a model that affords equality of access and opportunity.
“The Government must move in conjunction with all relevant departments in order to scale back these ever increasing costs on our most hard pressed citizens; supporting parents with these costs to curtail any knock on effect of these costs that leads to children being impoverished.”