Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD, has called for urgent action to cut school uniform costs.
Speaking today, Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:
“School uniform costs are far too high and are putting huge pressure on families’ finances. Families are already being hit by the cost of living crisis, as prices are spiralling and many simply cannot afford these back-to-school costs which can reach thousands of Euro.
“Sinn Féin wants to cut the costs of school uniforms, we know that this is one of the biggest costs for many families as they return to school this August. We see families spending hundreds of euro on school uniforms, tracksuits, shoes and other items of clothing every summer and the huge financial burden this causes families. Many will be worrying about how they will manage to pay that this year.
“Sinn Féin are committed to cutting back to school costs in terms of uniforms, books, school transport and across the board this year and in the coming years.
“Families have contacted us who are concerned that their child will miss out on extra-curricular activities such as sports and music groups, because they cannot afford to purchase all of the additional uniform items required. This is totally unacceptable and no pupil should be discouraged from participating in school activities due to the expense of these additional uniform items.
“We have brought forward legislation in recent months to cut the costs of school uniforms, to ensure that every school has an affordable uniform policy and that no child is disadvantaged by not being able to afford a particular item, by ensuring that parents can buy these items in multiple retailers and that they are at an affordable price. This would make a real difference in cutting costs for families and ensuring they get a much-needed break from out of control costs.
“In the North, we need an Executive up and running now to implement a plan to make school uniforms affordable and cut costs for workers and families. Families need action now and cannot afford to wait months for this much needed support. Sinn Féin has a plan to cut the cost of uniforms, we now need the Executive up and running to deliver for people.
“We are urging the Government to support this legislation, to take action on this and we are also urging other parties in the Executive in the North to bring this forward also and to deliver a much-needed break from the spiralling costs for families hit by the cost of living crisis.”