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One parent families to lose up to 20% of income due to benefit cuts- Eoin Ó Broin

23 February, 2015 - by Eoin O'Broin

Sinn Féin Clondalkin councillor Eoin Ó Broin had called on the government to reverse the reduction in the qualifying age limits for parents in receipt of One Parent Family Payment. The call comes as families across Clondalkin and Lucan have been notified that they will lose up to €86 a week from July as a result of Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton’s decision to lower of the qualifying age for one parent family payment to 7.

Cllr Ó Broin said:

‘In recent weeks I have been contacted by a large number of parents who are concerned at the impending loss of social welfare payments as the Government seeks to implement its new  age limits for one parent families.

‘Under the new rules recipients of one parent family payment will be transferred to a new transitional job seekers payment after their youngest child turns 7. This will result in a loss of up to €86 per week.

‘The cuts are due to be imposed in July and will result in thousands of lone parents losing out.

‘Across the country almost 12,000 lone parents will suffer a financial loss. In reply to Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh Minister Burton said that she expected 6,400 lone parents would lose up to €36.50 per week, 4,500 lone parents would lose up to €57 per week and 800 lone parents would lose a staggering €86 per week

‘South Dublin County Council area has a very high number of one parent families so areas like Clondalkin and Lucan will be badly hit by this change.

‘One of the families who contacted me this week have been informed that they will lose €86 in July.

‘Mandy has three children and works 14 hours a week. Her current weekly income including her after tax wages and one parent family payment is €474. She has been told that this will be cut to €388 as a result of the change. That is a cut of 20% of the family’s weekly income. How is a mother with three children expected to live on this.

‘When Mandy challenged the social welfare officer on this she was told to look for more hours from her employer. Unfortunately there is no guarantee her employer will provide the extra hours. Even if they do she would not be able to meet the cost of childcare as the hours would be outside of school times.

‘One again Fine Gael and Labour are hitting those in greatest need the hardest. This savage cut will drive one parent families, including working families, deeper into poverty and debt. The Government claims it wants to help people back to work. In Mandy’s case it is doing the opposite, making it harder for lone parents to remain in work.

‘Minister Burton must reverse this deeply unjust cut. One parent families need more support from Government not less.’

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