One Family, Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families, calls on Government not to place the burden of the budget on the shoulders of children and one-parent families.
‘Children don’t have the broadest shoulders in our society, and yet again they are carrying the weight of the budget’ says Stuart Duffin, One Family Welfare to Work Manager, ‘Child benefit is an essential part of the income of one-parent families. It allows parents to do what are considered quite basic things by a lot of people – such as buying healthy food, paying basic fuel bills and it is supposed to go towards supporting childcare costs.’
He goes on to point out that ideally, the wealthiest households should carry the greater tax burden in our society, but that this will not be the outcome after cutting Child Benefit across the board. “The real issue is that this will have a fundamental impact on child poverty and on families’ living standards more generally – on average 40% of lone parents already are struggling to make ends meet at the end of the month (GUI, Nov 2012 ). €10 cut per month will increase this figure to over 60% and further deepen poverty.
There’s no getting away from the plain fact that child poverty has risen as a result of the horrendous cuts aimed at one-parent families in Budget 2012. Ministers should be moving heaven and earth to protect children and vulnerable families from cuts and prevent child poverty growing.”
“65% of poor children live in a one-parent family, so Budget 2013 has to be balanced and show that the Government is truly on the side of these families who want to get out of poverty by supporting lone parents to get into work rather than making it more difficult by slashing Community Employment scheme payments and the earnings disregard.’
Karen Kiernan, Director of One Family urges Ministers, TDs and Senators to introduced flexibility in respect of working hours requirement for lone parents moved onto Jobseekers Allowance (JA), ‘The acceptance of part-time work as sufficient for JA when lone parents come off the One-Parent Family Payment is vital ; it will take into account the hours needed for parenting responsibilities while helping to address some of the childcare, afterschool and child welfare issues.’
She continues, ‘The need for such flexibilities has already been recognised in many European countries and without a flexible work requirement framework, lone parents are left exposed to precarious and low-paid work that fails to lift them out of poverty.’
For more information contact:
Stuart Duffin, Welfare to Work Manager, One Family T: 01 662 9212 M: 087-0622023
 Mary Murphy, Reframing the Irish Activation Debate: Accommodating Care and Safeguarding Social Rights and Choices, Studies in Public Policy, 23, 2008, pp 1-112