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Sinn Féin to publish Bill for reversal of cuts to Lone Parent Allowance – Ó Snodaigh

26 June, 2015 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, has outlined the details of a Sinn Féin Private Members Bill which will give the Government a final opportunity not to proceed with cuts to the Lone Parent Allowance.

The Bill, which will be introduced in the Dáil next week, opposes the cuts which are due to commence on Thursday on the grounds that they will affect those already vulnerable to deprivation and that affordable childcare to assist working parents has not been provided for as promised.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“Because of choices made by the Tánaiste, lone parent households have been forced to disproportionately shoulder the burden of cuts in the wake of an economic crash that was not of their, or their children’s making. Lone parent households are already experiencing enforced deprivation at a staggering rate of 63 per cent.

“This measure will just push already vulnerable children and families closer to poverty. There has also been a disturbing increase in families presenting themselves to homeless services.

“Despite protestations made by the government, cuts to the One Parent Family Payment will not encourage lone parents to take up work - it is only those lone parents who are actually in work whose weekly income will suffer a significant hit from this Thursday when the cut off age is lowered to just seven years.

“The lack of affordable childcare is also a huge obstacle for lone parents who are either in work or seeking work. The Tánaiste in 2012 made a commitment not to proceed with the cut in the absence of adequate childcare provision. This has not been provided for.

“I am calling on Labour TD’s opposed to the cut to put their money where their mouths are and to directly challenge the government on their punitive and unfair measure. I am also calling on the government to reverse this decision and support our Bill this week. It is not too late to reverse this cut, but time has nearly run out.”

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