Sinn Féin TD for Meath East Darren O’Rourke has urged the government to back the party’s plan to cut back-to-school costs.The plan contains a package of measures launched today to ensure families get a much-needed break from the cost of living crisis by cutting spiralling back-to-school costs such as the price of voluntary contributions, school books, uniforms and transport.The measures would be delivered through an additional investment of €161 million.Speaking today, Deputy O’Rourke told Meath Live“We know families in Meath find back-to-school costs a huge burden every year, but even more so this year, with a cost-of-living crisis that is getting worse and worse.“Today Sinn Féin have launched a plan to cut back-to-school costs to ensure families get a much-needed break from rising expenses. Families are under real pressure as they try to cover the price of uniforms, books, voluntary contributions, lunches and transport. These costs are hitting families who are already struggling due to the cost of living crisis and people are worrying about staying on top of their bills.“No families should face the fear of being plunged into debt or struggling to get by just for sending a child to school. Families need a break from these spiralling costs now.“Sinn Féin’s plan to cut back-to-school costs sets out how this can be delivered. We would deliver the Back to School allowance to 500,000 additional children. We would also increase the Back To School allowance by 50% for those who already get it. This would increase supports from €160 to €240 for parents with a child aged 4-11 and from €285 to €427.50 for children from the age of 12 up.“Sinn Féin would also work towards a fully free schoolbook scheme for children. We also set out how we would eliminate fees in the school transport system on a phased basis and provide seats for an additional 10,000 children.“We would enact Sinn Féin’s Affordable School Uniforms Bill straight away alongside our Bill to abolish voluntary contributions, which can put families under pressure to fork out hundreds of Euros.“Our package would make a big difference to families’ finances in Meath by putting money back in their pockets to help with back-to-school costs.“Sinn Féin in government would stand up for families and ensure they get a break from the cost of living crisis.”

Meath West TD Johnny Guirke endorsed his party colleague’s plea.