Mary Lou McDonald calls for changes to Back-to-School Allowance
Mary Lou McDonald said middle-income families are being left behind.
Mary Lou McDonald has called for the Back-to-School Allowance to be extended.
She stressed that middle-income families are being left behind when it comes to school support.
Earlier this week, Minister Norma Foley revealed that the allowance would be increased by €100 per child.
Foley confirmed that the allowance for children aged between 4 and 11 will increase from €160 to €260.
For children above the age of 11, the allowance will increase from €285 and €385.
However, many parents are not entitled to the allowance which covers school shoes and uniforms.
McDonald said the allowance should be extended to another half a million children.
She told the Dáil that families who earn around €621 a week are being left behind.
She claimed that many families are already "fighting to stay afloat".
The news comes after it was revealed that the average parent is spending €1500 if they have children in secondary school. They're also spending an average of €1200 per child in primary school.
Parents are already struggling with the rising cost of living, but back-to-school expenses are now pushing them into debt.
According to a new survey, this year's back-to-school expenses are leaving more parents with debt, including credit card debt.
The results of the survey of 764 parents found that a whopping 66% admit that the back-to-school costs are a financial burden.
Price increases across a range of areas including school books, uniforms, and transport are adding to their worries.
67% of parents will limit or deny extracurricular activities to their children because they simply cannot afford them.