Education costs soar as FG & Lab cut allowance
Kerry Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly has said he is extremely concerned that parents are facing a very difficult balancing act for the new school year with education costs up 5% in the past year, on top of the cut to the back-to-school allowance.
Senator Daly said: “Parents are already trying to figure out how they’re going to cope with back-to-school costs and manage their finances heading into September. The new school term is always a financial pressure point in the year but it has become much more difficult for parents in the last few years.
“The latest inflation figures show costs in the education sector are up again, almost 5% since April last year. That will have a huge impact on families. Households are already struggling to make ends meet every week and also have to contend with the property tax this year and a possible increase in the tax next year. This is on top of the cuts to child benefit and back-to-school allowance and the tax on maternity benefit. When will this government realise families in Kerry cannot take anymore?
“Fine Gael and Labour cut the Back-to-School Clothing and Footwear Allowance by €50 per child at all levels. The payment is reduced from €250 to €200 for children aged between 12 and 17 or 18-22 in full-time education and the payment to children between 4 and 11 is down from €150 to €100. Higher costs and reduced financial support are two major hits to family finances for the new school year.
“I am meeting families in Kerry every week that are extremely stressed about the financial pressure they’re under at the moment. Weekly and monthly bills continue to mount up and instead of Government working to ease the burden on families they are increasing it. The government needs to ensure that problems experienced in previous years with the payment of the back-to-school allowance do not add to the problems families are facing every week. Payments need to be made on time and to all those who need it.”