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Government should reverse ‘anti-women and anti-child’ cut to Lone Parent supports – McDonald

30 June, 2015 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking in the Dáil this evening on Sinn Féin’s motion condemning the government's impending cut to lone parent supports, Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has called on the Government, and in particular the Labour Party, to stop the planned cut to lone parent families.

The Dublin Central TD also accused the government of targeting a part of society they believe to be of no value to them when it comes to votes in the next general election.

Deputy McDonald said:

“The government, and in particular the Labour party, have earned for themselves the unenviable reputation of being anti-women and anti-child, and they don’t seem to care who knows it.

“They clearly have made a calculated decision that lone parents, like carers and other vulnerable sections of society, are inconsequential. They are a section of voters whose support they don’t really need, or so they think.

“Since taking office, the government has made eight separate cuts to payments to lone-parent families. And now in their latest measure, of the 30,000 lone parents affected, around 20,000 are to be transferredonto the new transitional job seekers allowance.

“Thousands of these struggling parents will see their income fall. More than 10,000 will have weekly payments cut by as much as €87.00 per week. The government are forcing these people into poverty, the vast majority of who are women.”

Deputy McDonald cited the high cost of childcare as a huge barrier in stopping lone parents from integrating back in to the workforce and the government would be far better tackling this issue rather than attacking lone parents directly.

“The average cost of childcare per week is €167 and it is higher in Dublin. Child care can cost as much as 52% of the take home pay of a lone parent.

“The government has said that these changes, which clearly are going to cause untold hardship on already struggling lone parents, would only take place when there was a system of safe, affordable and accessible child care in place.

“If it is the government’s goal to encourage lone parents to take up work then they would do best to stick to their promises and stop sticking it to lone parents.” 

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