School transport fees will suspended for one year and the Back to School Allowance will increase by €100 per child under a €67m cost of living package agreed by Government this evening.
The new Budgetary measures, aimed at helping struggling families, will see the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance increase by €100 per child and paid to parents in August before the new school year starts.
School transport fees will also be waived, Minister for Education Norma Foley announced.
The maximum a family can pay for pupils in secondary school to take school transport is €500 per year and €150 for families with kids in primary school.
However, families will not have to pay at all for the coming academic year.
The total package consists of €67m worth of measures, with €47m of these being social protection measures.
“Given the nature of the measures, we felt that it was best to make an intervention at this time rather than waiting for a Budget in late September when it would be too late in relation to some of the direct costs,” said Minister McGrath.
“We’re very conscious that there will be additional burdens that are placed on families as they prepare for the return to school,” said Minister Foley.
She said that the waiving of school transport fees is a “significant”.
Minister McGrath said it is crucial the payments are made now as waiting for the Budget in late September will be too late.
These Budgetary measures are being brought forward to help struggling families, Minister McGrath said.
He said these are “one off measures” for the 2022/2023 school year to help families deal with soaring inflation.
Senior ministers will today announce that an extra 60,000 children will benefit from an expanded school meals programme.
Social protection minister Heather Humphreys, Education minister Norma Foley and public expenditure minister Michael McGrath are announcing the measures at Government buildings.
More to follow…