Moynihan Calls for “Stay At Home” Payment for Low Income Families
- Government should give €150 payment during school lockdown modelled on Back to School support
- Families face additional heating and IT costs with children at home during lockdown
- Low income families must be supported with the additional costs of schooling at home
Following yesterday’s announcement that schools will remain closed until the end of January, Labour Senator Rebecca Moynihan has called for a “Stay At Home” payment of €150 to support low income families with the additional costs of schooling at home:
Senator Moynihan said:
“The impact of school closures on the most vulnerable children at the time of the March lockdown last year has been well document by researchers in both Ireland and the UK. As we face a January lockdown and predicted cold snap, many families will have difficulty meeting the extra costs of light, heat and internet data that is necessary for children to learn at home. It is essential that the Government act to provide a cushion to low income families to ensure that no child is cold, hungry or digitally left behind as a result of the shut down.
“I’m calling on the Government to give every family who received the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BTSCFA) in September a payment of €150 to cover the additional costs associated with keeping children at home in January. Last summer, the Minister estimated that the BTSCFA would be paid to 115,000 families for 210,000 children. A payment of €150 per child would cost the State just €30 million which is a small amount to ensure that the impact on the most vulnerable children is lessened.
“Families throughout the country are struggling, and that is why I also called for the Government to ensure that school meals are provided to children who need them at this time. Hunger does not take a break when schools close. This, coupled with a once off “Stay At Home” payment would go a long way to help reduce the significant pressure on household budgets.”