Budget Fails to Address Child Poverty in Poorest Families

National one-parent family organisation One Family today were disappointed with the dismal increase in the top-up payment targeted at those with children dependent on social welfare – the first increase to the Child Dependent Allowance (CDA) for 12 years.

Commenting on the increase Candy Murphy, One Family’s Policy Manager said ‘while we welcome a move away from an exclusive focus on general Child Benefit to one which specifically targets the families most in need we are concerned about the lack of real difference this will make. The nature of the increase means that children in one-parent families who are the poorest family type, will only receive a paltry €2.70 increase in Child Dependent Allowance per week. We are also disappointed that the Budget does not include a top-up for all low-income families. The long-term 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.’

The additional support for low-income families with school going children in the form of increases in the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is welcome. However, the low take up rates for this and the Family Income Supplement mean that this support will fail to reach many of the families who need it most. Such payments should be made automatically to all families who are entitled to them.

One Family are disappointed that this Budget once again failed to recognise that supports are vitally needed for families going through separation and divorce. The organisation had asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs to make provision for the establishment of a number of pilot child and family centres to provide information and support to the families and children experiencing such a difficult time.

‘While we welcome individual moves such as the long-awaited increase to the top-up payment for families dependent on social welfare’, said Ms Murphy, ‘we are disappointed that this Budget fails to present a coherent strategy to address the interlinking reality of family change and financial hardship facing many one-parent families in Ireland.’

Download a copy of One Family’s Pre-Budget Submission here or call 01 662 9212