A Mother’s Story | Losing the One Parent Family Tax Credit

Dearbhla * wrote to One Family about the Budget 2014 announcement of the abolition of the One Parent Family Tax Credit.

Dearbhla (39) is a separated wife whose marriage broke down in 2005 after twelve years. She and her husband (49) agreed to separate on good terms and always put their son (now aged 13) first, and continue to do so. Dearbhla’s ex-husband has always voluntarily paid maintenance to support his son and they still have a mortgage on the family home.

In her own words:

“My ex-husband has a full time job and he works hard. I work part-time. I felt sick to the pit of my stomach when I listened to the budget and realised what the removal of the One Parent Family Tax Credit would do to us. My ex-husband is ill and is suffering from stress from work/financial pressure. He has said several times recently that he believes we would be better off financially if he was no longer here. His father died at sixty years of age due to a stroke, and the doctor has warned him he is heading the same way if he does not stop worrying and get his stress under control. I am genuinely concerned this will push him over the edge.

After maintenance he has to pay for rent, electricity, gas, food, etc. I have the mortgage, electricity, gas, food, school costs etc. At the moment he has no TV licence as he can’t get the money together to pay for it. He dresses himself from charity shops. This is a man who is working a full week’s work to end up with so little.

I am not in arrears in my mortgage as the one thing I fear more than anything is losing the home I have made for myself and my son. I will go without food etc. to ensure my son is fed and well looked after, and my bills are paid.   We do not drink or smoke, and as for socialising, I cannot remember the last time I went out. The last holiday I had was in 2004.

We have nothing left to give.

When I say nothing, I mean nothing. I am pleading with the government to not let this huge cut to our family go through and to try to understand the extra costs a separated couple endures. We are simply honest, decent people who have always tried to do the right thing.”

One Family is extremely concerned by the Budget 2014 announcement of the replacement of the One Parent Family Tax Credit with a Single Person Child Carer Tax Credit. To read more and to download a pro-forma letter that you can adapt to send to your TDs about this issue, please click here.

The group Irish Parents for Equality are calling for signatures to a petition which can be found here.

* No details have been changed apart from the name of the mother