Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Social Protection, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, has today called on Minister Joan Burton to freeze the One-Parent Family Payment reforms.
Speaking from the Dáil, Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
“The reforms to the One-Parent Family Payment must be stopped immediately.
“Minister Joan Burton, on 18 April 2012, said that she would not introduce such reforms unless she got a ‘credible and bankable commitment on the delivery of a [Scandanavian] system of childcare’.
“This commitment has not been delivered nor are there any plans for the introduction of such a system.
“Currently, after school child care is either non-existent or far too expensive. Changes to the One-Parent Family Payment should not be introduced until this is rectified.
“It is disingenuous for the Minister to suggest that a changeover from One-Parent Family Payment to Jobseeker’s Allowance will mean that there will be a minimal disruption to the people affected. The truth of the matter is that the One-Parent Family Payment was designed with the caring responsibilities of the recipient in mind, Jobseeker’s Allowance is not.
“From next year, a further 50,000 people are to be affected by these reforms. This is unacceptable.
“The Minister must bring an end to this and instead focus on delivering a credible and cost efficient childcare system that will benefit struggling families.”