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Government must reverse cuts to One Parent Family payments – Ó Clochartaigh.

8 December, 2011


“The Government is not interested in any discussion on its budgetary measures, and in particular seems too embarrassed to even discuss the changes to Single Parents Allowance”, according to Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.
The Sinn Féin Senator from Galway called again today for a Seanad debate to be held with the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, to discuss the cuts to the One Parent Family Payments, his proposal however was turned down for the second day in a row by Government Senators.
“The cuts and changes to the One Parent Family payments announced in this week’s budget will have a devastating effect and have created great concern among these families, many of whom are already facing a severe struggle financially. Many of these families are in a very vulnerable position and the reduction in the eligibility age level from fourteen to seven by 2014 and the resulting cuts in support will push many of these families over the edge.”
“In addition, the changes to the income eligibility thresholds will mean these parents cannot work part time, without jeopardising their supports and they are also excluded from participating in schemes such as Jobridge, which contradicts the governments supposed interest in supporting more people in their efforts to return to the workforce.”
“There is a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty about these changes, and whether they will be revisited. Given that the Social Welfare Bill to bring these changes in is due to come before us next week I felt it was essential that the Minister come in to the Seanad immediately, to discuss the equity of the cuts being proposed. I think it is appalling that the Government representatives saw fit to vote against this modest request.”
“In my view, the Government is gagging debate. They wouldn’t facilitate a debate on these matters before the budget and they don’t want to discuss them afterwards either. This is probably because they will find these savage cuts so hard to justify when they had other options open to them.”
“I would ask people to question their local Government TDs and Senators, who were elected on a platform of change and of renewal, on this issue, and yet a few months later are following the same failed agenda, and victimising the most vulnerable, as we see with these cuts to Single Parent Family payments.”
Caithfidh an Rialtas na ciorruithe don Íocaíocht Tuismitheoir Aonair a chuir ar ceal - Ó Clochartaigh.
“Níl suim ar bith ag an Rialtas plé ceart a dhéanamh ar impleachtaí na socruite buiséid agus go háirithe is cosúil go bhfuil náire faoi leith orthu faoi na hathruithe atá molta ar Íocaíochtaí Teaghlaigh Tuismitheoir Aonair”, dar leis an Seanadóir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.
D’iarr an Seanadóir as Gaillimh arís inniu go mbeadh díospóireacht Seanaid ann leis an Aire Coimirce Sóisialaí, Joan Burton, le plé a dhéanamh ar na ciorruithe atá beartaithe aici ar na hÍocaíochtaí Teaghlaigh Tuismitheoir Aonair, ach diúltaíodh don iarratas don dara lá as a chéile, mar gur vótáil ionadaithe an Rialtais ina choinne.
“Beidh tionchar tubaisteach ag na ag na hathruithe a fógraíodh an tseachtain seo do na hÍocaíochtaí Teaghlaigh Tuismitheoir Aonair agus tá imni mhór agus neamhchinnte cruthaithe do na clanna a fhaigheann iad, go leor acu atá i gcruachás airgid cheana féin agus atá ag strachailt le billí a íoc. Tá go leor de na clanna seo i staid an-leochaileach cheana féín agus má athraítear an aois cáilíochta ó 14 go 7 mbliana i 2014 agus má thagann na ciorruithe atá molta leis sin, beidh an dream seo fágtha in anchaoi ceart”.
“Sa mullach ar sin, ciallaíonn na hathruithe seo nach mbeidh na tuismitheoirí seo in ann oibriú go páirtaimseartha gan cuid dá gcuid liúntais riachtanacha eile a chailliúint agus freisin ní féidir leo páirt a ghlacadh i scéimeanna cosúil le Jobridge, rud a bhréagnaíonn ráitis an Rialtais go bhfuil siad ag iarraidh tacú le daoine atá ag iarraidh filleadh chun oibre”.
“Tá cuid mhaith imní agus míshuaimhnis faoi na hathruithe seo agus faoin seans atá ann go ndéanfaí athbhreithniú orthu. I bhfianaise go bhfuil an Bille Leasa Shóisialaí le teacht os ár gcomhair an tseachtain seo chugainn le feidhm a chuir leis na cinntí seo, mheas mé go raibh sé ríthábhachtach go dtiocfadh an tAire isteach sa Seanad láithreach le plé a dhéanamh ar chothromaíocht na gciorruithe atá beartaithe. Sílim go bhfuil sé scannallach amach is amach gur vótáil Seanadóirí an Rialtais ar fad i gcoinne an moladh réasúnach seo.”
“I mo thuairim sa tá an Rialtas seo ag tachtadh aon díospóireacht fhiúntach. Ní thabharfaidís cead na cúrsaí seo a phlé roimh na cáinfháisnéise agus níl uathu iad a phlé anois ach an oiread. Sílim gur b’shin de bharr go mbeadh deacracht ollmhór acu na ciorruithe damanta seo a chosaint, nuair a bhí roghanna eile ar fáil dóibh”.
“Bhéinn ag impí anois ar an bpobal a gcuid Teachtaí Dála agus Seanadóirí , a toghadh mar gur gheall siad cur chuige difriúil agus cothrom, a cheistiú go dian ar an ábhar seo. Cúpla mí ina ar aghaidh tá siad ag leanúuint an straitéis céanna a bhí ann rompu, ag bualadh cois orthu siúd atá thíos agus leochaileach, mar a fheiceann muid leis na hÍocaíochtaí Teaghlaigh Tuismitheoir Aonair seo.”
Trevor Ó Clochartaigh
Seanadóir/Senator
Teach Laighean/Leinster House,
Baile Átha Cliath 2/Dublin 2
Éire/Ireland

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