14/06/2017

School Clothing And Footwear Allowance Increased

The allowance for clothing and footwear for eligible school children has been increased by the Leo Varadkar, in one of his final acts as Minister for Social Protection.

Minister Varadkar has increased the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance from €100 to €125 for children aged 4-11 and from €200 to €250 for children aged 12 years and over. This brings the total allocation for the Allowance this year to €47.4 million, an increase of €10 million on what was originally proposed for 2017. Around 108,000 families will benefit from the increase from July.

Making the announcement Minister Varadkar said: "Parents face significant costs at the start of every school year. The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is one of the single most effective ways for the Government to help families with school costs. This year some 194,000 children will benefit from this increase of up to €50. I am determined to reduce child poverty and I hope this increase sends out a clear signal of the Government's renewed commitment.

"I have also adjusted the income limits to ensure that increases in social welfare announced in Budget 2017 won't affect people's entitlement to the Allowance, which will be paid in mid-July to give parents time to prepare financially for the new school year. The additional costs will be met from within the Department's allocation for 2017 in which there is an underspend due to rapidly falling unemployment levels."

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear scheme is a nationwide scheme that provides a once-off payment to eligible families towards the cost of school clothing and footwear.

The majority of payments will be made automatically with no application form required. The Department will notify these customers of their entitlements shortly.

Customers who do not receive notification of an automated payment will need to make a written application. Application forms will be made available over the coming week at all of the Department's Intreo Centres, via SMS, email and from the Department's website. The closing date for receipt of applications is Saturday, 30 September, 2017.

(MH)

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