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Cut to lone parent allowance will drive children into poverty - Cllr Kathleen Funchion

18 May, 2015 - by Kathleen Funchion TD

Sinn Féin candidate for the Carlow Kilkenny by election Cllr Kathleen Funchion has strongly criticised Fine Gael and the Labour Party for pushing ahead with yet another cut to the lone parent allowance.

The cut, which will see families losing the allowance as soon as the youngest child turns seven, will come into effect in July.

Cllr Funchion said;

"Single parents are mothers and fathers all at once. They do their best for their children. They already struggle to make ends meet and cannot afford the high costs of child care.

“Since taking up office, this government has cut the lone parent allowance on no fewer than eight occasions. This is despite the ever- increasing rate of poverty among lone parent families in this state. Thousands of families will see their weekly incomes fall as a result of this cut. It is cruel, unnecessary and down-right mean-spirited. For many, the cut will mean having to choose between putting food on the table or paying an electricity bill.

“When the government started to implement its series of cuts to the lone parent scheme it did so on the basis that a system of affordable and accessible childcare would be put in place. However, this has not happened. The reality is that child care can cost up 52% of a lone parents take-home pay.

“There are over six thousand lone parent households in Carlow Kilkenny. Fine Gael and the Labour Party will once again put their hands into the pockets of some of the most vulnerable families in this constituency. They will take food off their tables and restrict their ability to pay utility bills. This cut will drive many children into poverty.

“Will the Fine Gael candidate, David Fitzgerald and the Labour Party candidate, Willie Quinn stand-over another shameful cut? It is something that people should put to them when they come calling for votes over the next few days.”

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