27 August 2021
By Mary Bermingham
Cork North Central TD Mick Barry said this morning that the back to school costs issue is a crisis the Government can no longer ignore and needs to be immediately addressed.
Deputy Barry is a member of Solidarity (formerly known a the Anti Austrity Alliance, which is a socialist party). His comments came as the St Vincent de Paul report that they are receiving 300 calls per day now from parents who cannot meet back to school costs. It is understood that calls to the charity are up on last year by approximately 10%.
Deputy Barry says: “The Government are turning their back on this crisis and hoping that charities like St Vincent de Paul will patch things up. But the Government could take action and should take action. For starters, they should cancel their plan to cut the PUP in September. Secondly, they should accept that the State needs to play a role in meeting back to school costs. This should be the last year that parents are put under such unacceptable pressures and the last year that charities are relied upon to finance the education of children.”
In Cork St Vincent de Paul are reporting that they have now distributed 800 “school kits” to families in need in the city and county.