Budget must not forget poorest families
National one-parent family organisation One Family today called on the Government not to forget that in a time when the coffers are full, many one-parent families continue to struggle in a vicious cycle of poverty.
Commenting on tomorrow’s Budget, One Family’s Policy & Campaigns Manager, Candy Murphy stated that ‘poverty is no longer an issue of there not being enough to go around, it is a denial of basic human rights. While overall poverty levels have decreased marginally one-parent families were almost a third more likely to have been without heating during 2005, than in 2004, and the number of one-parent families unable to afford a warm waterproof coat almost doubled during that time (EU-SILC, 2005).’
This Budget looks to be focusing on issues of stamp duty and higher-level taxation, rather than focusing on the poorest families and children. ‘In order to lift vulnerable families and children in Ireland out of consistent poverty’, Ms Murphy continued, ‘the Government must provide a coherent package of targeted supports for one-parent families and other low-income families. The key to breaking the cycle of poverty is a targeted top-up payment for all low-income families, irrespective of whether they are claiming social welfare or working in low-paid employment. As this is unlikely to be part of tomorrow’s Budget, it is vital that the Child Dependent Allowance, which is the top-up payment currently available to families on social welfare, is increased to €40 a week if it is to have any real effect on the poverty experienced by many one-parent families.’
One Family are also hoping to see the significant increases in the One Parent Family Payment, the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowances, the Fuel Allowance and the Family Income Supplement, as well as free medical cards for all children.
Budget 2007 must also address vital issues for families, including:
* providing adequate supports to assist families experiencing family breakdown and new family formation;
* recognising and supporting the role of parenting and shared parenting in one-parent families; and
* commissioning research on the rights and needs of non-marital families.
Download a copy of the One Family Pre-Budget Submission here or call 01 662 9212
For further information or a copy of the full submission contact:
Ruth Coleman, Communications Manager 01 662 9212/086 174 2315
Candy Murphy, Policy & Campaigns Manager 01 662 9212