Programme for Government 2020

As the negotiations for the next Programme for Government take place, we’re calling on all parties to prioritise the needs of the most vulnerable families in society and to not repeat the mistakes of the past – notably the disastrous 2012 cuts.

Since 2016 there have been eight independent and government commissioned report on lone parents and poverty all with broadly similar recommendations – few of which have been implemented. In our Election Manifesto we called for measures to end child poverty, continue the reform of family law and court welfare services, protect all families in Ireland and end homelessness. It’s important that parties in the Programme for Government put in place these measures to safeguard the most vulnerable families in our society.

One-parent families now make up over a quarter of all families in Ireland. Yet many are struggling to stay afloat against a rising tide of poverty. These families are three and a half times as likely to be at risk of poverty as two-parent households (CSO – SILC 2018). In our Election Manifesto we give our Top Four Election Priorities click here for a copy of the manifesto.

  • End Child Poverty: Meet and expand on the current target to lift 100,000 children out of poverty by 2020. Develop another target and commit to a strong implementation system with high level political support. Ensure adequate income levels for all families and households through independent benchmarking of income supports.
  • Reform Family Law & Court Welfare Service: Build on family law reforms and commit to developing a comprehensive public Court Welfare Service including a statutory Child Maintenance Service. Ireland is decades behind our European neighbours and must ensure the safety of children and parents in family law proceedings.
  • Protect All Families in Ireland: Commit to a referendum to update Article 41.3 of the Constitution to extend rights and protection to all families.
  • End Homelessness: Ireland has a national crisis of homelessness which disproportionately affects one-parent families. Commit to prioritising the building of social housing for families and ensuring that children do not spend longer than 6 months in emergency accommodation.