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Lone Parent Allowance Cuts will increase child poverty in Ireland – Liadh Ní Riada MEP

10 June, 2015 - by Liadh Ní Riada MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has sent solidarity greetings to the one parent families protesting in Dublin this afternoon over savage cuts to Lone Parent Allowance, and called on Labour Leader Joan Burton to reverse the cuts immediately. These cuts are due to begin on July 2nd and will impact upon almost 12,000 families.

Speaking in the European Parliament in Strasbourg today , Liadh Ní Riada MEP said:

“Between 2008 and 2013 the number of children living both at risk of poverty and in consistent poverty jumped from 6% to 12%, this means that at least 135,000 children in Ireland, or one out off every eight, are experiencing material deprivation on a daily basis. 63% of one parent families are living without basic necessities. One parent families are at a heightened risk of homelessness. 60% of households seeking urgent housing assistance are one parent families.

“This is the context in which the Irish Government, and Labour Leader and Tánaiste Joan Burton wishes to introduce savage cuts to payments for one parent families. We are told that the cuts are being introduced to encourage lone parents to enter employment or education. Almost 12,000 parents, many of them already in employment, will lose up to €86 per week under these proposed cuts.

“Childcare remains unaffordable for many, the jobs market is no buoyant, despite regular rhetoric and spin from Government, and many employers in the lower-paid sectors of the economy will not guarantee workers regular or sufficient hours.

“When these cuts were first proposed by Labour leader Joan Burton she promised that affordable childcare and afterschool care would be made available. This has not happened, and we are less than a month away from the introduction of these cuts. The anxiety and anger of one parent families is palpable as we approach the 2nd of July, and I am calling on Joan Burton to roll back on these savage cuts, that will have such devastating and long-lasting effects on so many children and their families.

“Last month we heard Labour, quite rightly, calling for equality and for fairness, but yet when it comes to fairness and equality for children, many of them already experiencing poverty or deprivation, we see the true face of Labour.

“My colleague and Sinn Féin's Social Protection spokesperson Aengus Ó Snódaigh TD has today launched a postcard campaign calling on Joan Burton to reverse these cuts immediately.”

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