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Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
# Growing pains
It costs €50 more per week to raise a teenager than it does a primary school child
The Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice is calling for a weekly increase of €5 to social welfare supports for Irish children.

90121878_90121878 Laura Hutton / Laura Hutton / /

IT COSTS NEARLY €50 more per week to provide for the ‘minimum socially acceptable standard’ of living for an older child, according to new research.

In data provided by the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice (VPSJ), it’s suggested that it costs an average of €122 per week to provide for older children, compared to €75 for those of primary school age .

Most of the greater expense can be attributed to the higher costs for food, clothing, personal care, and ‘social inclusion’, according to the research.

€9.50 of the weekly expense is attributable to second level education expenses.

1 VPSJ Estimated costs for providing for children of primary and secondary ages VPSJ

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On foot of the new data, the VPSJ is calling for an increase of €5 to the statutory weekly rate of support for children aged 12 and over in the next budget to aid those dependent on social welfare.

The VPSJ, a partnership of four charities including the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and the Daughters of Charity, says that currently available social welfare supports (child benefit, the qualified child increase, and back to school allowance) meet 89% of a younger child’s minimum needs, compared with just 56% of what is required in order to provide the minimum socially acceptable standard of living for an older child.

“The social welfare system should recognise the additional needs of older children and provide a higher rate of support,” said VPSJ director Dr Bernadette MacMahon.

The process of meeting the additional needs of older children should begin next year. Raising supports to an adequate level can be progressively realised over several budgets.
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