THE payment of the Back to School Allowance in late September means Wexford people are having to turn to loan sharks, according to the Chairperson of Wexford County Council, Tony Dempsey.
Cllr Dempsey said most people do their school shopping in July or early August so it makes no sense to delay payment until late September. He said: 'I can understand the reasons why the government reduced the payment but it needs to be looked at anew in the context of the new budget. We very often hear about how the economy is recovering, and it is, but unfortunately many of the people who need the allowance remain untouched by the improvements made since the recession. I am aware of people having to run to money lenders who charge extortionate rates.'
The Fianna Fáil councillor said all payments should be means tested, adding that the government should also take into account the needs of families who have children with special needs.
'The Assistive Technology Grant needs to be introduced at pre-school level for children who have autism or Dyspraxia. These children might not be able to hold a pen because of their challenging condition and might need a grant for an iPad.'