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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 26 Apr 1994

Vol. 441 No. 8

Written Answers. - Back to School Clothing and Footwear Scheme.

Liz McManus


20 Ms McManus asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he has received a copy of the report prepared by the Eastern Health Board on the operation of the back to school clothing and footwear scheme in 1993; if his attention has been drawn to the view expressed in the report in relation to the need for the earliest possible indication of his intentions regarding the operation of the scheme at the beginning of each year; if his plans for the scheme for 1994 have been communicated to the Eastern Health Board; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Robert Molloy


36 Mr. Molloy asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will ensure that all payments due under the back to school clothing and footwear scheme will be paid before 15 July 1994.

I propose to take Questions Nos. 20 and 36 together. The back to school clothing and footwear scheme has been administered by the health boards on my behalf since its introduction in 1990.

In September 1993 delays were experienced by clients of the Eastern Health Board in receiving allowances under this scheme. Because of these difficulties the board was asked to carry out an examination which would ascertain the reasons for these problems and would put measures in place to ensure that they do not arise in future years.

In its report, which I received in February, the Eastern Health Board identified a number of areas which gave rise to delays in the issue of payments in 1993. I have been assured that measures are being put in place at present to ensure that clients do not experience such difficulties in the 1994 scheme.
My Department's circular on the 1994 scheme issued to the eight regional health boards on 31 March 1994. This year the scheme will commence on 1 June and eligible people can apply for the allowance any time between that date and 30 September.
Arrangements for the issue of payments are a matter for each health board, however, I have asked all boards to ensure that the majority of payments are made by 31 July 1994.