One-parent families faced with poverty

One Family , the leading provider of specialist support services for one-parent families in Ireland today expresses its concern that lone parents on welfare will face further cuts in their income as a result of Budget 2010. One-parent families are already experiencing four times the level of poverty found in the general population and the measures introduced today along with those introduced in the last two budgets will , in One Family’s view , increase this inequality.

Candy Murphy , Policy & Research Manager with One Family said:

‘While we welcome the increase in the Qualified Child Allowance we very much regret that it is at the expense of an overall cut in child benefit. The reductions in welfare rates announced today on top of existing cuts in the form of the Christmas bonus and the loss of the early childcare supplement will increase poverty and will also worsen the already almost insurmountable poverty traps experienced by lone parents. We are especially concerned that lone parents in low paid jobs will face increasing difficulty remaining in the workforce given continuing high childcare costs ’

She went on to say that:

‘We trust that the government will work with organisations like One Family to ensure that lone parents on welfare have access to the full range of education and training opportunities and to assist lone parents to develop their skills and qualifications in preparation for the economic upturn that the Minster assured us today is on the way.’

Karen Kiernan , Director of One Family said:

‘We are very concerned to see no indication that additional supports will be put in place to deal with the growing incidence of family breakdown as a result of the recession. Calls to our helpline have been up over 20% this year directly due to economic stresses and One Family are working with very limited resources to support such families and to minimise the stress on both parents and children.’

One Family has been providing specialist family support services to people parenting alone and sharing parenting for 37 years.  Services include parenting and skills training , counselling , parent mentoring and national information supports.

For further information please contact:

  • Hilary Fennell , Communications Manager 01 662 9212 , 087 235 9515
  • Candy Murphy , Policy Manager , 01 662 9212 , 087 293 3180