The rising cost of education is not only hitting parents receiving benefits but hard-pressed working families as well, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says.
“Reports out today show more than 28,000 loans were made to families unable to pay for basic school costs in the past financial year.
“However working parents are also forced to make difficult choices – cutting back on food or letting other bills go unpaid – so their kids have uniforms, text books and stationery.
“They are having to squeeze more and more out of their weekly pay packets despite little growth in their incomes.
“If it is tough for them, we can only imagine how hard it is for those receiving a benefit.
“The Government can no longer turn a blind eye to the fact that when it cuts education budgets schools are increasingly reliant on parents to make up the shortfall of day to day costs.
“Its antipathy towards growing inequality and its shrugging acceptance of a low wage economy only adds to the pressure.”