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Over a quarter of lone parents living in consistent poverty – Ó Laoghaire

2 February, 2017 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

In a report published by the CSO yesterday (Survey on Income and Living Conditions), it was found that 26.2% of children living with a lone parent were deemed to be living in consistent poverty. Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire echoed the calls of SPARK and expressed his extreme concern in relation to the findings and called on Minister Katherine Zappone to address this urgently.

The Cork South Central TD said:

“The figures in this report are shocking, and an indictment of the state. We are all aware as elected representatives that consistent poverty remains an issue for many in post-austerity Ireland, due to savage cuts implemented by the previous government.

“The last Government, in many instances, targeted the most vulnerable when it came to cutting government spending. Joan Burton’s cut to Lone Parents Allowance was among the most vicious, vindictive, and harmful cuts of all.

“Children of lone parents are disproportionately represented when it comes to living in consistent poverty.

“The Government tried to frame this as a labour activation measure, in spite of the fact that even where a child is in school, it does not mean Lone Parents can work full time, and we should not be using a stick to force already low income families out to work and away from their families.

“The cut in eligibility thresholds, to 7 years of age, falsely presumes that it becomes cheaper to raise a child after that age.

 “Minister Katherine Zappone cannot adopt an attitude that she is only responsible for what her Department does. She has a responsibility to safeguard the welfare of Children from bad policy decisions made by every Department, including the Department of Social Protection.

“In the same year as the more severe of these cuts began, we had a referendum to ensure the best interests of the child were always of paramount importance.  The Minister needs to make sure that is put in to practice and needs to ensure that these cuts are reversed; she must have her voice heard at the Cabinet table to see to it that these children are protected from desperate poverty.” 

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