Back to school costs hit home

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More and more parents are being forced to turn to charities and debt advice services in order to meet rising back-to-school costs.

A survey released last week by children’s charity Barnardo’s found many families were finding it increasingly tough to make ends meet.

Edgeworthstown mother of one, Lilly Dempsey said the demands facing parents has become progressively worse to bear in recent years.

“Last year it cost me €150 just for my daughter’s books and this year I wouldn’t be surprised if it cost €240 or €250,” she said.

As a single parent, Lilly relies heavily on State assistance to get by.

She said the subsidies afforded to lone parents like her don’t go far enough.

“All I get is €100 from the Back to School Allowance which doesn’t go very far,” she said.

“I am going to have to get two jumpers, two pairs of trousers, tracksuit tops, runners, shoes, a jacket and a school bag for her.

“Sure last year, she went through four bags because of the weight of it.”

Her attempts to seek support from the likes of St Vincent de Paul has so far failed to make any dent in her back-to-school costs.

“It’s that bad that I haven’t been able to buy a pair of shoes of my own for the past two years.

“I have to rely on second hand shops to get by.

“What with paying for the house, fuel, electricity and other bits after getting my money this morning all I was left with was 8c,” she said.




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