Burton cutting social welfare blindly to fulfil promises to EU/IMF – Ó Snodaigh
Sinn Féin Social Protection Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD this morning participated in a press conference organised jointly by SIPTU and SPARK (Single Parents Acting for the Rights of our Kids) to launch a protest against budget cuts to be held this Saturday.
Speaking after the conference Deputy Ó Snodaigh, who is compiling a report for the Oireachtas Social Protection Committee on the Single Working Age Payment, said a PQ response he received from Minister Burton yesterday showed that she is cutting blindly and without any statistics to back up her rationale that previous rates acted as a disincentive to work.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
“Budget 2012 removed many of the protections that were rightly put in place to help lone parents with the costs associated with returning to work. It has re-introduced poverty traps and put in place obstacles to work despite the rhetoric from the government that the opposite was its objective.
“In response to a parliamentary question which I submitted Minister Burton told me that her department does not collate information on the working patterns of people in receipt of the One Parent Family Payment and she only has an estimate of the number of recipients in paid employment.
“How then can she tell us that the previous rate was a disincentive to work when she has no idea of the level of work being done by single parents.
“The reality is that Minister Burton is cutting blindly to fulfil the promises she made to the EU and IMF and, as usual, it is the lowest earners in society that the government is targeting.
“Single parents have been hit disproportionately by budget 2012. In my work as rapporteur for the Social Protection Committee I have met many single parents and four groups that represent single parents.
“I can tell you without hesitation that the idea that lone parents want to sit on welfare is a myth. I have witnessed first-hand their desire to work. But they must have the supports to do so.
“I want to encourage all lone parents, men and women, and anyone who opposes this government’s approach to social welfare reform to come out on Saturday and support this protest organised by SIPTU and SPARK.” ENDS