Govt 'Oblivious' At Rising School Costs - Ní Riada

The Government is being accused of being "oblivious" at the rising costs of sending children back to school.

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada said the costs shouldn't be treated as something topical to talk about every time August comes about.

She said: "The reality is that it creates very real hardship, stress and financial pressures for families who are already struggling to pay bills and put food on the table. The government seem oblivious to it. In a real republic, back to school time would not come with such burdens. The situation, which worsens every year, certainly exposes the myth of free education.

"Many parents are getting into debt in order to meet the costs, while at the same time they are being asked to increase their voluntary contributions to schools that struggling to survive because of government imposed cutbacks. It seems to me that Fine Gael and the Labour Party wants the state to wash its hands of the responsibility for providing education and they want parents to foot the costs of this divestment.

"Lone parents must be finding this year particularly difficult given the further cut to the lone parent allowance that was introduced this summer. The shocking reality is that back to school costs could well be the expense that will push many families across the poverty threshold. It is unacceptable and it is a telling indictment of this government's social policy."


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