The clothing and footwear allowance provides €200 for secondary school students and €100 for primary students. A survey by Barnardos earlier this year found average full costs for secondary school students were €735, while they were up to €380 for primary students.

4,000 claims for clothing and footwear assistance disallowed

Housing tax: homeowners who had not contacted local authorities to explain their non-payment by midnight  last night face a spiralling bill. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Defaulters face fines of up to €7,230 from today

Many retailers surcharge pay-as-you-go customers

The one category where debt write-offs have been on the rise is where taxpayers were unable to pay the debts. These cases resulted in a €28 million loss to the exchequer.

Authorities unable to pursue 17 tax defaulters with tax bills of more than €1 million each

The Revenue has stepped up its audits of businesses in the shadow economy recently.

Doctors, dentists and pharmacists found to be hiding large sums in undeclared income

Overall, audits of the shadow economy show rental income accounted for the biggest individual yield last year.

More than €260 million in unpaid tax written off by Revenue last year

The Labour Relations Commission has intervened in the dispute at Iarnród Éireann which saw services hit by a two-day strike last Sunday and Monday.

Exploratory talks involving unions and management to be held today

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said issues such as welfare payments for adults and children, restrictions to third-level education and supports for children will be among the issues to be examined

Minister for Justice pledges a new process to streamline applications for refugee status

Former Supreme Court judge Catherine McGuinness (above) is among prominent figures who have predicted the State’s treatment of asylum seekers could be the subject of a future government apology

Reports from campaign groups have highlighted the damage direct provision is causing residents

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