Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, has called on the Minister for Education, Jan O Sullivan, to launch a new initiative to tackle the huge back to school costs that families are facing, especially the outrageous costs of school uniforms.

Crowe said that during the month of August thousands of parents are struggle to cope with the high cost of sending their children back to school.

Deputy Crowe said:

“We are starting the month of August and literally thousands of parents are confronting the ever expensive task of sourcing new school books, new school uniforms, and other back to school essentials.

“The Back to School Allowance is available to a small cohort of families but many complain it is not fit for purpose, with the gap between the allowance and the cost of sending a child to school growing every year.

“With many families already crippled by austerity measures and increased charges, the biggest worry at this time of the year is sourcing expensive new uniforms and other additional equipment to send their children to school.

“Many parents complain that they are being forced to cut back on other essential services, and some have no other option but to approach money leaders who demand huge repayments, so their children can get the basics to go to school.

“There is clearly a need for the Minister for Education, Jan O Sullivan, to do more to help struggling families who are already bombarded with bills at this time of the year.

“I am calling on Minister O Sullivan and her Government colleagues to look again at these rip off prices and launch a new initiative to tackle and support parents with back to school costs”