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Louise O’Reilly highly critical of Minister Burton’s “Reforms” of Lone Parents allowance

27 June, 2015

Sinn Féin Dublin Fingal candidate Louise O’Reilly was highly critical of Labour Party Leader and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton’s “Reforms” of the Lone Parent allowance.

Ms O Reilly outlined the need for a Scandinavian type Childcare system to be put in place, a measure promised by the minister in exchanges in the Dáil, when this measure was first announced.

Ms O Reilly was speaking at a Coffee morning hosted by Fingal Sinn Féin last Friday morning in the BASE Centre in Swords which was also attended by Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD.

The predominant issue at the Coffee morning was the cuts to Lone Parent with Grandparents & Mothers voicing their opposition to the cuts which it was agreed will only have a detrimental effect on Lone Parent Families in Fingal.

O’Reilly stated:

“There has been a lot of research done on this issue and the effects of this cut are devastating. A lone parent working 20 hours per week on minimum wage will have lost a total of €108 per week when all Minister Burton's 'reforms" are fully implemented.

“23% of lone parent families live in consistent poverty compared to 8.2% of general population (EU SILC report 2013).

“Our children deserve equality. The CSO stated that there was no 'statistically significant' change in consistent poverty rates, yet our poorest families saw a year on a year increase of 32% in the consistent poverty rate. Lone parent families cannot sustain further cuts

O Reilly concluded:

“The Minister has stated that to cut the allowance when the last child turns 7 will enable the parent to return to the work environment but has not considered the childcare costs involved in such a measure, presently families across the State are paying up to two thirds of their monthly income on childcare. What is required is for the Minister to fulfil her promise of a universal Childcare made in the Dáil.” 

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