Government Announces Back To School Package

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The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is set for a one-off increase.

The payment will include an extra 100 euro for each eligible child.

A child aged 4–11 years, will get €260 and for children aged 12 and over it will be €385.

Almost 120,000 families will receive this payment automatically – in respect of each qualifying child with the remaining 30,000 receiving their payment over the coming weeks.

Meanwhile an additional 310 schools are being invited to participate in the School Meals Programme which will benefit an extra 60,000 children.

School transport fees are to be abolished or if the fee have already been paid there will be a refund for the 2022/23 school year.

Families will need to go onto the payment portal to verify they still wish to be considered for a ticket and further information will issue on this process in the coming days.

The portal will be closed for a short period to facilitate this. Families will be notified when the portal reopens.

The government also says further measures which will take effect this year to assist with the rising cost of living will be announced as part of the Budget in September.

Meanwhile Labour spokesperson on Social Protection, Rural and Community Development, Seán Sherlock has sharply criticised the Government’s school transport waiver for the coming academic year saying it will mean little to hard pressed families who are still subject to the out-dated school transport system.

The Party is critical of the lack of wider reforms to the system as the concessionary seat lottery remains as do stringent limits on distance from schools.

The party says that the measure is late being announced and now means that some have to wait to apply while others have to wait for refunds.

Labour wants the government to provide universal school transport and remove the qualifying distance between home and school. The government has commenced a review of the School Transport system.

The government has announced a waiver for school transport and increases in the back to school clothing and footwear allowances as once off measures for this year due to the cost of living crisis.

493 admitted patients are waiting for beds according to today’s INMO Trolley Watch.

418 patients are waiting in the emergency department, while 75 are in wards elsewhere in the hospitals. University hospital Limerick has 83 patients experiencing delayed admission – 51 patients are receiving care on trolleys while a further 32 have been accommodated in  some ward of the hospital.

There are 11 patients receiving care on trolleys in TUH in Clonmel.