Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

Dan Wallace

Question:

196 Mr. Wallace asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will outline the number of people expected to benefit from the new clothing allowance; the cost of the scheme in the current year; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The back-to-school clothing and footwear scheme, which I introduced earlier this year provided an allowance of £25 for each child dependent on social welfare who was attending primary school and £40 for those at second level. It was implemented as part of the supplementary welfare allowances scheme administered by the health boards. Final data on beneficiaries and expenditure is not yet available but it is estimated that to date in excess of 170,000 children have benefited under the scheme at a cost of approximately £5.3 million in the current year.