Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Labour Party attack Lone Parents – Adams

1 July, 2015 - by Gerry Adams TD


Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has warned that the government’s changes to the One Parent Family Payment will force thousands of lone parents and children further into poverty and deprivation.

The Louth TD was speaking during his party’s Private Members Motion in the Dáil on Wednesday evening.

The changes to the One-Parent Family payment come into effect on Thursday July 2nd.

Teachta Adams accused the Labour Party of forcing “lone parents and their children into greater poverty and insecurity and deprivation. This is the real face of the Labour Party. It has turned its back on the values of Connolly and Larkin. It has turned its back on the needs of working class families and communities. It has become a pale imitation of the Fine Gael party.”

Teachta Adams said:

“The start of the school summer holidays are for most parents with children a challenging time. For thousands of lone parents, this summer break will be a particularly difficult time as many find their income has significantly dropped.

“The Minister for Social Protection has decided to pick on lone parents. We should not be surprised by this. Most lone parents are women, and the record of this government in defence of the rights of women and of children has been pitiable.

“After four years in power, the government has still not produced the much promised consolidated legislation on domestic violence. Nor has it signed the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

“Children too are not a priority. Between 2008 and 2013, the number of children living at risk of poverty and in consistent poverty in this state doubled. That means that under Labour’s watch at least 135,000 children are experiencing material deprivation on a daily basis.  

“When the cut is introduced on Thursday, all of these difficulties will be exasperated for lone parent families. That’s not the Troika’s fault. It’s not the fault of the lone parents. It is solely the responsibility of Minister Burton.

“There are an estimated 12,000 families, including many in my own constituency of Louth, who will now face significant cuts of up to €86 per week. Many will be deeply affected by the cut to the Lone Parent Allowance.

“This unacceptable, Thatcherite view of the world ignores the valuable social and economic role that lone parents make in raising their children.  

“As part of the Minister’s spin to excuse this austerity measure, she promised not to proceed unless affordable childcare was introduced. Another broken promise, not unlike so many other broken Labour promises made four years ago.

“In May during the campaign in support of the marriage equality referendum, we heard Labour, quite rightly, calling for equality and for fairness. In the Minsters contribution during the debate she boasted of defending working families. Not true.

“As a result of Labour policy, lone parents and their children will face greater poverty, insecurity, and deprivation. This is the real face of the Labour Party. It has turned its back on the values of Connolly and Larkin. It has turned its back on the needs of working class families and communities. It has become a pale imitation of the Fine Gael party.” 

Connect with Sinn Féin