Wicklow Sinn Féin to hold a 'Back to School' day of action
The Sinn Fein spokesperson on Social Protection and Wicklow/East Carlow TD John Brady has said that the high costs of sending children back to school shows ‘free education’ in Ireland is a misnomer.
“This time of year can be very difficult for families grappling with the cost of sending their children back to school, and if there happens to be two or more children in the one family the pressure can be financially debilitating. As the new school term quickly approaches parents’ right across the country are struggling with back to school costs. Annual surveys carried out by Barnardos and the Irish League of Credit Unions have put total costs at up on €900 for primary school and almost €1,500 for secondary school. One in ten families has to resort to borrowing money to finance their children’s education, with 40% sacrificing other living expenses in order to meet costs. In a country where our children’s education is supposed to be free the government has done nothing to help the situation. In fact, the Fine Gael/Labour government cut the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance in half since 2011.”
“The Wicklow Sinn Fein team and I will be out this Saturday all over the county engaging with people and highlighting the issue of back to school costs. We will be in Bray, Greystones, Blessington, Carnew, Arklow and Wicklow Town meeting with people and putting forward our proposals which we believe will help ease the pressure on families who struggle over this time of year. We will be handing out thousands of leaflets outlining what the Sinn Féin proposals are to help ease the burden of sending children back to school. We will also be collecting names on petitions calling on the government to take action.”
Teachta Brady concluded “Sinn Féin has proposed and costed a number of measures including the restoration of the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, the extension of the School Meals Programme by 40%, increased capitation to primary and secondary schools by 10% over a Dáil term and an increase in the School Books Grant by 30% and tackle the cost of school transport.”