Lone parents facing huge cut in income- Seán Crowe TD
Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, has said the proposed cuts being implemented by the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, to the Lone Parent Family Allowance will have a huge negative impact on many family units in his Dublin South West constituency.
Crowe was speaking after it emerged that the amount of children living in consistent poverty is continuing to grow.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“Parts of my constituency of Dublin South West have some of the highest concentration of lone parent families in the State. We know that the savage cuts being proposed by the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection will have an impact, and this is according to her Department’s own figures, on 30,200 families.
“These cuts are being implemented against a backdrop of already huge poverty rates among one parent families, and with the amount of children living in consistent poverty continuing to grow.
“The cuts are to take place regardless of false promises made by the Tánaiste Burton that she would ensure that adequate childcare would be in place to support those lone parents who wish to go out to work.
“Since taking office she has made eight separate cuts to the One Parent Family Payment. Across the State 30,200 lone parents are now receiving letters from the Department of Social Protection, when their youngest child has turned seven years of age that they are being taken off the One Parent Family Payment.
“Literally thousands of families and children will now see their weekly income now drastically reduced.
“Many of these lone parents are already struggling to get by and as a result of this Government’s new policies they will be pushed into greater poverty.
“Another huge obstacle for these families is the shrinking availability and rising cost of childcare. Child care can cost as much as 52% of the take-home pay of a lone parent.
“When cuts were being introduced to the One Parent Family Allowance in 2012 the Tánaiste said that any proposed change was dependent ‘on there being a system of safe, affordable and accessible childcare in place, similar to what is found in the Scandinavian countries’. And went on to say ‘If this is not forthcoming, the measure will not proceed.’
“Lone parents know there is no Scandinavian childcare system available to them but their income is still going to be cut come July.
“This is a cruel, ill thought out measure and needs to be put in the austerity dust bin.”