One Family, the leading provider of specialist support services for one-parent families in Ireland, today (18 October 2007) launched its Pre-Budget Submission 2008.
At a time when purse strings are tightening, One Family called on the Government to remember its commitments in the Programme for Government to provide supports for families, for parents and for children in both accessing the world of education and work and in enjoying family life. Many one-parent families continue to struggle against the increased costs of living under the Celtic Tiger without reaping its rewards, often unable to access quality education and employment options because of childcare and housing shortages.
Candy Murphy, Policy Manager, One Family today said: “Many lone parents fall into a poverty trap where they are unable to take up meaningful employment opportunities because they cannot support their families on their wages as costs increase at the same time as social welfare supports are cut back. Many lone parents call us because they want to go back to education or work but can’t afford the childcare and other costs that go with that decision.”
Ms Murphy continued: “The Programme for Government 2007 recognises that effective state supports must contain three elements: adequate income, accessible and relevant services and innovatory measures to reflect changing realities. We are today calling on the Government to live up to those promises and to support one-parent families in ways that can make a real and positive difference to their lives.”
One Family’s Pre-Budget Submission 2008 calls on the Government to include measures that will raise the income of one parent families, support lone parents to participate effectively in the labour market and improve services to one-parent families, particularly in relation to childcare, education and training as well as health and housing. The Submission also asks Government to work with NGOs such as One Family to develop new, innovative and relevant services for families, particularly in relation to accessing meaningful work, after-school care, parenting and family support.
One Family is particularly calling on the Government to:
- Raise the One-Parent Family Payment by €20 per week and to increase the financial support going into low-income families through increases in the Qualified Child Allowance and in the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance;
- Provide real supports for lone parents wishing to increase their involvement in the labour market including the provision of after-school care, grant aid for part-time educational qualifications, a Back to Work fund and guaranteed access to education, training and childcare;
- Provide new and targeted services to one-parent and co-parenting families. Such services should include the establishment of child and family contact centres and parenting supports.
Ms Murphy said: “The most important thing is that Government looks at ways to support the most vulnerable families in our society and to support them at all stages, especially when they are in a period of crisis or transition. Many of the current and future citizens and workers of Ireland are members of a one-parent family. The Government needs to invest in their future and support them in reaching their full potential.”
For further information please contact
Catherine Joyce, Communications Manager 01 664 0125/ 086 343 2542
Candy Murphy, Policy Manager, 01 662 9212/ 087 293 3180