Wednesday 21 August 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Uniform cost of education lower than in early '50s'

There has been controversy surrounding the price of school uniforms. Stock photo: Getty Images
There has been controversy surrounding the price of school uniforms. Stock photo: Getty Images
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

A lot of complaints have been reported in the media in recent weeks regarding the cost of school uniforms.

Here are some statistics which pales the cost of today’s uniforms when compared:

My school uniform for boarding school in 1951 was £15-15s. My older sister was then a qualified primary school teacher and her salary was £20 per month. So my uniform cost 75pc-plus of a teacher’s salary. In today’s terms that is €1,800! Boarding school fees were £55 per year, or 10 weeks’ salary for a teacher, which today is €6,000!

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Piano was £5 per year, ie €600. Laundry €1-10s which is €150 today. A blazer was added two years later for £3-10s – more than 60pc of week’s salary. Then a shirt at £1-10s.

Did I appreciate the sacrifices my parents had to make on a farm in south Leitrim? I hope I did when I also trained to be a primary teacher. They were ahead of their time.

Brid Fetton

Ferrybank, Co Waterford

Von der Leyen’s election will not help the cause of peace

THE appointment of Ursula von der Leyen as the new European Commission president has left me with an anxious feeling. In 2014, she broke a German military taboo by supplying arms to Iraqi Kurdish forces.

The commission has learned lessons from President Donald Trump in power and their dependence on the US to sort out its affairs. The EU’s continued policy of seeking to integrate member states’ armed forces should concern all of us who would promote conflict resolution through diplomacy and not the threat of war.

It is my belief that Ms Von der Leyen’s appointment to head the commission will not assist us in this.

Paul Doran

Clondalkin, Dublin 22

Democrats must now begin impeachment of Trump

FOLLOWING his latest racist and sexist attack against the right of American citizens – albeit women who would not tick the Wasp box – the descendant of the Teutonic Knights, Donald Trump, has demanded an apology to him, the USA and Israel.

All because duly-elected Congresswomen of moral principles had the effrontery to criticise his policies; apparently, in his small-handed view, anathema to him and to a modern democracy.

What is most extraordinary is a man who demeans himself by attempting to enlist American Nazis for his re-election not only openly defends them and encourages their fascist ideologies, then has the moronic stupidity to demand these four women apologise to Israel.

Without doubt, it is time the Democratic Party’s leaders have the backbone to back these four superlative women and start impeachment proceedings against this worse ever incumbent of the highest political office of the United States.

George Dalzell

Stillorgan, Co Dublin

State must ensure EU has aid package for no-deal Brexit

THE Government’s plans to have no Border checks at the point of crossing will, I am sure, be music to the ears of smugglers.

That there are no checks for goods and services at the point of entry is contrary to the spirit and legality of the single market and the customs union.

It will create major difficulties for other EU states given their proximity to other non-EU nations, excluding those within the European Economic Area.

Those promoting Brexit don’t want regulatory alignment, they don’t want a backstop and they don’t want to pay the €39bn divorce bill, which is very much part of the EU’s agreement with the British government. They know the EU is not for tuning after years of negotiations, so the ball is firmly in their court.

Simon Coveney’s statement – “we are not going to put checks on the Border or close to it” – seems a little bit naive, if not foolhardy, given the other members states must also agree on how this European border is managed and manned.

While the October deadline looms, and Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt wrestle for control of the Conservative leadership and PM of the UK, it behoves Ireland to ensure jobs and businesses are buffered against any threat from the UK’s withdrawal, whether with or without a deal, and the EU has a financial package in place to compensate for any losses which Ireland will incur.

No one should be under any illusion of the long-term consequences of a “no deal” Brexit given Johnson’s buffoonery and lack of detail or Hunt’s laissez-faire approach to the consequences for the business sector.

Ireland as a nation must not be bullied into decision making that will set us back post the 2008 economic collapse, leaving us further in debt and leaving the taxpayer carrying the proverbial can.

Christy Galligan

Letterkenny, Co Donegal

Irish Independent

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