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Cuts to lone parents causing huge levels of stress – Ó Snodaigh

17 August, 2015 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Social Protection, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD responding to the release today of the Annual Review from the organisation for people  parenting alone, OneFamily, has again called on the Tánaiste and her government to reverse the cuts to one parent family households .

OneFamily today revealed the staggering rise in the number of distressed callers to their helpline due to Government policies around moving people who are on the One Parent Family Payment (OPFP) off that support. Helpline calls rose by 30% in 2014; this followed a 20% rise in 2013. A staggering 50% rise in calls from distressed lone parents.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh says:

“This is no surprise in the wake of the relentless cuts to the OPFP; because of the choices made by the Tánaiste, lone parents have been forced to disproportionately shoulder these cuts, yet the Government continues its onslaught of activation without adequate resources. The rationale put forward is to incentivise lone parents to seek more hours at work but in the absence of affordable childcare and legislation enabling workers to seek more hours, these cuts are an attack on the living standards of lone-parents.

“These families are amongst the most vulnerable and impoverished in the country with 63% of OPF households experiencing enforced deprivation.   Homelessness is a greater threat than ever before. At any one time two ­-thirds of families in emergency accommodation are lone-parent families.

“Sinn Féin called on the Government to reverse the changes to the Lone Parent Allowance in a Private Member’s Motion in July on the eve of the change, and the Labour party refused to back down.

“I am again calling on the Tánaiste to reverse these cuts and to work to both end child poverty and improve outcomes for One Parent families.” 

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