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Crowe gives cautious welcome to Government's proposals for supporting lone parents

28 April, 2006


Sinn Féin Social Affairs spokesperson Seán Crowe TD has welcomed the commencement of a consultative process on the Government's discussion document entitled 'Proposals for Supporting Lone Parents'. Giving a cautious welcome to the document Deputy Crowe described it as "a wholesale admission that there has been a comprehensive failure in Government policy in the past in dealing with lone parents."

He said, "There is a lot of good thinking and positive elements in these proposals which should be welcomed. They are a wholesale admission that there has been a comprehensive failure in Government policy in the past in dealing with lone parents.

"I would caution however, about the idea of forcing parents into employment without adequate support structures. We all want lone parents to be able to participate equitably in society but a policy of coercion is wrong. If adequate structures such as affordable childcare and quality adult education were put in place then more lone parents would naturally be attracted back into the workforce.

"There is also a worry that if the proposals are implemented there is a danger of lone parents facing an increased poverty trap when their child reaches seven years of age based on the fact that €1,000 childcare supplement will have gone. Under the proposals when the child turns seven the adult moves from parental allowance to unemployment assistance and a limitation rule will come into effect which will lower the amount of money given to the household in support increasing the poverty trap even further." ENDS

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