Sinn Féin MLA Cathy Mason has said an Executive is required to support families and begin to deal with soaring back-to-school costs.
Speaking following the publication of the latest Irish League of Credit Unions Annual School Costs Survey, the South Down MLA said:
”Workers and families are already struggling with the cost of living, with fuel costs, electricity bills, and mortgage interest rates, and now in the coming weeks families will be faced with soaring back-to-school costs.
”This latest survey found that parents can expect to spend £837 per primary school child, a rise of £81 on last year; and £989 per secondary child, an increase of £163 on last year.
”The cost of school uniforms is the primary expense for families.
“As well as that, more than half of parents said having children home over the holidays will put them under added financial pressure, particularly in terms of grocery and utility bill costs.
“This emphasises the impact the removal of the holiday hunger payment will have on disadvantaged households.
”Sinn Féin wants to legislate to make uniforms more affordable for all families and reinstate vital holiday hunger payments to the tens of thousands of families who rely on them.
”Children, families and our schools need the Assembly and Executive formed now so that parties can work together to protect our public services and progress legislation to help cut back school costs for families.
“I once again urge the DUP to end its blockade on the Executive and stop holding up this important work.”