Declan Breathnach TD
Louth (and East Meath)

23rd August, 2018

Delay in payment of Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance causing distress for many families – Breathnach

Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath Declan Breathnach has said that the delay in processing the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BSCFA) is causing distress to many families and it is not good enough for the Department to ask them to continue to “bear” with them while they get though the back-log.

“I have had a number of concerned parents on to my office, not knowing where to turn to with the new school year already started for many”.

“Eligible families get a grant of €125 for children aged 4-11, rising to €250 for children aged 12 and over.

“Delays like this are unacceptable and the Government needs to re-deploy staff into the Section to clear up the back-log. Currently, the phone lines are closed to allow staff concentrate on getting through the applications, but this is only adding to the frustration for parents who wish to find out what is happening.

“The Department has stated that they received 36,000 applications for this allowance but they should have anticipated this extra work-load and had the resources to deal with it. There is no excuse for this, and parents are at their wit’s end not knowing when this money will be received. This time of year is highly stressful for families under financial pressure. Some feel their only option is to turn to high cost personal loans in order to have their children ready for the new school year, but I would urge them instead to enquire with their local Community Welfare Officer who may be able to assist.
– Note to Editor – Department Notice re delay here –
Johanna Walsh, Office of Declan Breathnach T.D., Leinster House, Dublin 2 (Declan – 087 2697638)

(T) 01 6183549 (Email)