Budget will do nothing to reduce poverty in one-parent families
One Family, the leading provider of specialist support services for one-parent families in Ireland, says today’s Budget will do nothing to address already high rates of poverty in one-parent families. Such families currently have a poverty rate of more than four times the national average. One Family welcomes the introduction of the free one-year early childhood and education year which will bring benefits to all children especially those in low income families. However, the organisation highlighted the falling incomes experienced by one-parent families in Ireland . This occurs through a combination of reduced employment opportunities and hours of work, increased difficulties in securing and providing maintenance, higher income levies at lower entry points, reduced rent supplement and through the abolition of the Early Childcare Supplement. The abolition of the Christmas bonus will also have a very negative effect on many one parent families.Candy Murphy , Policy Manager, One Family, this evening said: “While we recognise that hard choices had to be made any reduction in income going into a one-parent family home will have very negative effects. The abolition of the Early Childcare Supplement will mean a significant drop in income for lone parents on low incomes.’ Ms Murphy continued: “We must ensure that these income cuts are not reinforced by a reduction in opportunities for lone parents to progress from welfare into work, education or training. One Family calls on the Government to prioritise the maintenance and development of services for those most distant from the labour market, including lone parents, to include accessible training and education services, housing and childcare support and through ongoing support for innovative interventions such as One Family’s very successful New Futures programme’. The overwhelming majority of calls to the askonefamily national helpline this January related to the recession, job losses and money worries. The helpline experienced a 300% increase in calls in comparison to 2008 following a national advertising campaign. One Family has been in existence for 37 years and provides a range of services for one-parent families in Ireland . Services include parenting and skills training, counselling and parent mentoring and a wide range of information supports.