Lone parents at breaking point ahead of Budget Forum Meeting

Urgent targeted action is needed as many one-parent families struggle to put food on the table.

Press release,

Tuesday 18 July,

Lone parent families are at breaking point and require urgent targeted supports in Budget 2024 according to One Family – Ireland’s national organisation for one-parent families.  The call comes ahead of the Department of Social Protection’s Pre-Budget Forum tomorrow, Wednesday 19th July and as the organisation launches its Pre-Budget Submission.

Karen Kiernan CEO of One Family said, “What we are hearing from our services and through our helpline is that parents are struggling. They’re straining to keep their heads above water but an unequal social welfare system is pulling them down. Lone parent families are not looking for hand-outs but for supports to help them escape poverty.  A stand-alone child maintenance system is urgently needed to pull families out of poverty, child maintenance and child benefit shouldn’t be accessed as means for access to public supports and schemes. Lone parents should be eligible for all parts of an enhanced SUSI grant, irrespective of which housing support they are in receipt of, or whether the course is full, part-time or blended. These are all achievable; all Government need to do is focus resources and the result is thousands of children are pulled out of poverty.”

Carly Bailey Policy Officer with One Family said, “One-parent families are consistently overrepresented in poverty, homelessness and deprivation figures. Yet despite all the evidence, targeted interventions to reduce poverty in one-parent households were shamefully absent from last year’s Budget. It is no surprise that income inadequacy has deepened for one parent families again this year as a result. Budget 2024 must include specific targeted measures such as a significant Increase for a Qualified Child (IQC) payment in order to provide a meaningful reduction in poverty in one-parent families.”

Our key budget asks:

  • Increase the Increase for a Qualified Child (IQC) payment by €15 for children over 12 years and €10 for children under 12 years.
  • Provide free (or almost free) access to childcare to all families in receipt of the Medical Card.
  • Expand eligibility for the Living Alone Allowance, Telephone Allowance and Household Benefits Package.
  • Ensure lone parents are eligible for all parts of an enhanced SUSI grant, irrespective of which housing support they are in receipt of, or whether the course is full, part-time or blended.
  • Increase the housing disregard for One Parent Family and Job Seekers Transitional payment in line with market rents. This has not been increased since 1997.
  • Establish an independent child maintenance agency.


About One Family:

One Family is Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone, sharing parenting and separating, offering support, information and services to all members of all one-parent families, to those sharing parenting, to those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and to professionals working with one-parent families. Children are at the centre of One Family’s work and the organisation helps all the adults in their lives, including mums, dads, grandparents, step-parents, new partners and other siblings, offering a holistic model of specialist family support services.

These services include the askonefamily national helpline on 01 662 9212, counselling, and provision of training courses for parents and for professionals. For further information visit: www.onefamily.ie

To read our Pre-Budget Submission


Available for Interview

Karen Kiernan, CEO of One Family | t: 086-8509191

Further Information/Scheduling

Noel Sweeney, Communications and Events Manager | t: 085 7241294