Breen expresses concern that Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance Payments will be delayed.

August 30th, 2010 - Pat Breen

While the HSE have redeployed additional staffing resources to handle the increased number of applications this year for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance in the Mid West Region, Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen expressed his concern today (Friday) that payments will not be paid out until well into September and that this will cause a lot of hardship and stress for a lot of families.

“I understand that the HSE had received 13,619 application as of the 13th August last in the Mid West Region which includes Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary this year and while they have redeployed an additional five staff to deal with the increased number of applications; they expect that 9,500 will be paid out by the end of August; that will leave over 4,000 families waiting for their payments. Indeed the longest delays of up to 30 days are being experienced by parents in County Clare as wells Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, and North Tipperary.”

“Due to the current economic crisis the number of application has risen significantly this year. Last year, 8,981 applications were received and yet a number of families did not receive their payments until well into September. This is too late for parents who need to buy uniforms and footwear for their children now before the schools re-open.

“The average cost for a child going into first year in Secondary School this year will reach around €815, the hike in school transport costs and increases in the cost of school books all contributing to the increased burden on families.”

“It is coming very close now to the re-opening of Schools and parents need to know if they are going to get the allowance so that they can buy uniforms and footwear and naturally, they are getting very concerned and anxious with the long processing time, with the average waiting time six to eight weeks.”

“It was all well and good for Minister O’Cuiv to urge parents to apply early the Scheme, with when will they receive their payments. These payments should be fasttracked so that families can receive their payments ahead of the re-opening of Schools.”