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Tánaiste must abandon plans to phase out lone parents- Councillor Louise Dunne

12 March, 2015 - by Louise Dunne

South Dublin County Councillor (SDCC) Louise Dunne has welcomed the passing of a Sinn Féin motion in SDCC, calling on the Tánaiste and Minister for social protection to abandon plans to phase out lone parents when children reach the age of seven.

Speaking last night after the council meeting Cllr Dunne said:

“We are delighted to have this motion passed, while highlighting the fact that many lone parents are living in consistent poverty.  Many of these families are having to go without heat and are turning to food banks.  In April 20012 the Tánaiste had said that she would not go ahead with these so called reforms unless she had got a credible and bankable commitment by the time of that year’s budget. 

The Tánaiste’s policies have hit women the hardest, pushing many of these women and their children further into poverty.  The Labour party has stated that they have protected core welfare payments, however, lone parents have seen cuts to back to school allowance, fuel allowance, home help hours and child benefit. 

The fact is 68% are already experiencing severe deprivation. 

I was appalled and disgusted by some of the comments made by Labour councillors when they were debating the motion. A few Labour councillors made a number of ill-informed comments when I spoke on the reality of children going hungry, which demonstrates the lack of empathy some members of the Labour party have for struggling families

I would like to take this opportunity to call on them to clarify the comments made.”

Cllr Dunne further stated:

 "A recent study has found that 84% of lone parents surveyed stated that they wanted to work, however childcare was the biggest barrier in accessing employment. The Irish Government spends less than 0.2% of its GDP on childcare provision, one of the lowest compared to its European counter parts.  Joan burton herself stated that lone parents are one of the groups most at risk of poverty. Minister Burton should abandon her plans and fulfil her commitment before going ahead with these so called reforms, as savings from these discriminatory cuts have not been redirected into childcare provision. Joan Burton’s legacy will be the failing of our children.  

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