Survey on Income and Living Conditions 2011 finds lone parent households are most deprived

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has released the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) in Ireland for 2011, a household survey covering a broad range of issues in relation to income and living conditions.

These new figures show that lone parent households are the most deprived, with 56% classified as deprived. According to the survey, 232,000 children are at risk of poverty, which represents 18.8% of all children in Ireland, a slight increase from 18.4% in the previous year. One in seven of those at risk of poverty has a job, according to the statistics, and over half (50.7%) of the population would be at risk without social welfare payments.

Responding to the findings, Stuart Duffin, One Family’s Director of Policy & Programmes, said: “The urgent problems today are the growing number of families making the difficult choice between heating and eating, or getting sucked into the spiral of rent arrears, pay day loans and debt. A central focus on family incomes has to remain, alongside a step change in government strategy on living wages, affordable housing and affordable childcare so that more families can balance their budgets and give their children decent life chances.”

Stuart Duffin further commented: “One Family hopes that Ministers will now take a robust evidence informed approach to policy and start providing income security and making work pay for those families and children in most need.”

Read the CSO press release here. Further analysis by The Irish Times can be found here: Quarter of population classified as deprived | Unravelling the facts, and myths, of Irish inequality | Record numbers in poverty, CSO



One Family’s Stuart Duffin on RTE calling for Child Benefit reform

Listen back to Stuart Duffin, One Family Welfare to Work Manager, speaking out on RTE 1’s Drivetime yesterday, calling for reform of the Child Benefit system.

He is at 01:57:00:00 towards the end of the show, here is the link!rii=9%3A3367480%3A83%3A14-08-2012%3A

One Family,Ten Solutions – cost neutral solutions to help lone parents back into work & education

Stuart Duffin, One Family, Welfare to Work Manager, was at the 66th Labour Party Conference in Galway over the weekend promoting One Family’s course of   action in response to Budget 2012.  All 750 copies of the paper, One Family – Ten Solutions – Smarter Futures were taken and read. One Family is advocating cost neutral administrative and management approaches which would facilitate those parenting alone back into work and education. There is overwhelming support for our stance on flexibilites; that is, that lone parents who transition to Jobseeker’s Allowance should not be required to be available for fulltime work but rather for 15 hours per week during school hours. This should mitigate many of the child protection concerns and parental caring responsibilities that have arisen around 7 year olds being left on their own. A series of flexibilities or exemptions are required as per the UK and many other countries to allow for a lack of childcare, lack of transport, a child with a disability, separation, bereavement, etc, This is a first step in a journey to ensure that lone parents and in particular children in lone parent families do not suffer disproportionally in the current economic climate.

See the full document here Ten Solutions

For more information on flexibilities for lone parents who are in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Look here

Here is some relevant Census 2011 data on Lone Parents in Ireland:

1 in 8 people in Ireland live in a one-parent family,  567,311 persons out of a general population of 4,588,252.

1 in 4 (25.8%) families with children in Ireland is a one-parent family, 215,315 lone parent families out of 834,266 families with children.

Over half a million people live in one-parent families in Ireland, 567,311 persons

13.5 per cent of one-parent families are headed by a father, 29,031 lone fathers as opposed to 186,284 lone mothers.

1 in 5 (21.7%) children live in a one-parent family,351,996 children in one-parent families, out of a national total of 1,625,975 children

Budget 2012 main social welfare changes and rates

Budget update – here are the main social welfare changes and rates of payment from the Dept of Social Protection. Thanks for all the comments and suggestions to get involved in a campaign. We’ll post more about that and our response to the cuts soon too.

One Family responds to Bishop’s comment

One Family Director Karen Kiernan was responding this morning on WLR and yesterday on Today FM’s ‘Last Word’, Newstalk and Spin 103.8 to a piece in the Irish Independent where Bishop of Elphin Christopher Jones said “the greatest good” would “come ultimately from the family in marriage” and that many children from broken homes are born “losers”.  Karen was also speaking up for one-parent families after some media reports unfairly scapegoated single parents as being somehow responsible for the London riots.

Karen said, ‘The language used in some of these articles can be really hurtful to people who are doing a great job, often under difficult circumstances, parenting alone or sharing parenting. It can also be really hurtful to their children. We obviously don’t agree. Children do best in families where they are loved and supported – that can be a family with one parent or a family where there are two, or even three, parents involved in the child’s life. The real issue in all of this is the need for family support. Children do well in families where parents are in a position to parent well, be they married or not. That’s what makes the difference.’

One Family election manifesto published

One Family’s election manifesto has been sent to all the political parties and we will keep you up-dated of any feedback. You can read our manifesto here