Surge in education costs highlights growing pressure on local families

Cavan-Monaghan Deputy Brendan Smith has said the latest Consumer Price Index revealing yet another surge in the cost of education highlights the growing pressure on families across Cavan and Monaghan.

According to the figures released by the CSO, the cost of education is 4.8% higher than it was this time last year and is one of the main contributors to the increase in inflation.

Deputy Smith commented, “The cost putting a child through school and college is one of the greatest expenses facing any family. These latest figures show it has become even more expensive this year. 

“One of the main reasons for the increase is yet another hike of €250 in the college registration fee this month.  Instead of keeping its promise to reduce the cost of third level education, this government has instead done one of its spectacular u-turns and introduced a series of rolling increases that will see the third level registration fees jump to at least €3,000 next year.  The Education Minister Ruairí Quinn also cut student grants and abolished the post-graduate grant.

“As these costs continue to mount, more and more families will find they simply cannot afford the cost of putting their children through college. 

“The hikes and cuts in education are just one example of this government’s failure understand the pressures on ordinary families in this region.  The last two budgets have hammered young families in particular, with cuts in child benefit, taxes on maternity benefit, cuts to the back to school clothing and footwear allowance, increases in utility bills and a new tax on the family home.

“This attack on families must stop.  As the government gets ready to announce next year’s budget, I am calling on Fine Gael to radically change their approach and start considering the needs of hard pressed families in this region.”

16th September 2013