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Fine Gael and Labour push one parent families into deprivation – Reilly

30 January, 2015

Sinn Fein Senator Kathryn Reilly has expressed dismay and anger at new figures from a Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) 2013, which shows that 63% of one-parent family households in Ireland suffer deprivation.

Senator Reilly stated:

“The report showed that those living in households with one adult and one or more children had a 63% deprivation rate in 2013, and this grouping also had a 23% consistent poverty rate. The report is extremely upsetting, but I am not surprised at its findings. The austerity measures perused by Labour and Fine Gael over the past four years have been the cause of this. It is shocking that as a nation we have become so accustomed to such reports on poverty and deprivation. The unfortunate reality is that they just serve to reinforce what we already know to be true.”

“I have continuously raised the issue of poverty, deprivation, and inequality in the Seanad, using the Order of Business and Commencement Matters as a platform to voice my concerns on such problems. Indeed in December I put it to Deputy Simon Harris that Ireland has become a deprivation nation where one million people are living in deprivation and nearly one-in-three children is suffering deprivation. I quoted Michael Taft when I told Deputy Harris that this is an economic, social and moral indictment of the priorities of a government that privileges tax cuts over poverty-reduction.”

“Such points were recently reiterated by Karen Kiernan CEO of One Family when she too outlined that the SILC results were just reinforcing and amplifying what they have been saying for some time now.  She stated how people parenting alone are consistently telling One Family that they live on the knife edge of poverty. Naturally she was also highly critical of a government who ignore the reality of life for these one-parent families.”

 “What will further extenuate this crisis is the moving of over 39,000 lone parents off their One-Parent Family Payment and onto Job Seekers Transitional in July. The consequences of this will be even more hardship and a further increase in the numbers of one-parent families suffering deprivation.”

“While the immediate situation is deplorable and needs to be addressed, the long term implications for the children in these situations are equally worrying. The government has not only shown utter contempt for one-parent families, they have also shown disregard for children’s future life chances.”

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