Child Payment a Start for Budget 2015 but
Lone Parents Need Support to Stay in Work
(Dublin, 15.09.2014) One Family – Ireland’s organisation for one-parent families and people sharing parenting – today welcomes the welfare to work dividend for parents returning to work provided it is combined with an income disregard for those parenting alone. This is the only way it will help to lift hard pressed one-parent families out of consistent and persistent poverty.
The key aim of Budget 2015 must be to ensure that work pays and is seen to pay. It costs a lone parent more than a couple to bring up a child because there is only one adult to make offsetting savings from their own living expenses. The reduction of the income disregard in Budget 2012 (€146.50 to €60) is working against Government policy as it means it is no longer financially viable for many one-parent families to stay in part-time employment.
Stuart Duffin, Director of Policy & Programmes with One Family said: “We have heard from working lone parents who, with the changes this year implemented from Budget 2012, have had a net income reduction of €200 per week and so are being forced out of employment, which is the opposite of what government set out to do, i.e. support lone parents into employment.”
Although 53% of one-parent families overall are in work, the figure for those on social welfare and working has halved to 30% over the past few years due to the slashing of the income disregard and fewer jobs. Meeting the ‘no frills’ needs of one-parent families is becoming tougher as the cost of a child rises while wages flat-line. It is a picture many hard-pressed parents will recognise.
Stuart Duffin continued: “Budget 2015 must ensure an improvement in the labour market position of parents, and in this way increase their ability to be self-sufficient and escape poverty. Cuts have been put in, they have not worked and now parents need supports. Children cost. That is why one-parent families have a higher risk of poverty than those without. The cumulative impact of low pay and cuts to family support contribute to the remarkable finding that the combined wages and benefits of a family with both parents working full time on the minimum wage are still insufficient to meet the basic needs of that family.”
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
- The Department of Social Protection states that from 1 January 2014 for those on the One Parent Family Payment, the One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) scheme’s income disregard will be reduced from its current amount of €110 per week to €90 per week for the duration of 2014.
- In Budget 2012, it was announced that there would be a gradual reduction in the amount of earnings from employment that would be ignored (disregarded) when calculating the rate of OFP paid and that this change would come in over a number of years.
- In 2012 the amount ignored was €130; in 2013 it is €110; in 2014 it will be €90; and it will decrease further to €75 in 2015 and €60 in 2016.
- From 1 January 2014, OPFP recipients can have earnings of €90 without it affecting the rate of payment of OFP and so if your earnings are greater than €90 per week, then the rate of OFP will be changed to take this new rate into account.
- By 2015, over 55,000 parents will have been moved onto the live register from the One-Parent Family Payment when their youngest child becomes 7 with no national programmes of support or engagement in place.
About One Family
One Family was founded in 1972 and is Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families offering support, information and services to all members of all one-parent families, to those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and to those working with one-parent families. Children are at the centre of One Family’s work and the organisation helps all the adults in their lives, including mums, dads, grandparents, step-parents, new partners and other siblings, offering a holistic model of specialist family support services. These services include the lo-call askonefamily national helpline on 1890 622 212, counselling, and provision of training courses for parents and for professionals. One Family also promotes Family Day and presents the Family Day Festival every May, an annual celebration of the diversity of families in Ireland today (www.familyday.ie). For further information, visit www.onefamily.ie.
Available for Interview
Karen Kiernan, CEO | t: 01 662 9212 or 086 850 9191
Stuart Duffin, Director of Policy & Programmes | t: 01 662 9212 or 087 062 2023