one euro coin

askonefamily Budget 2015 Changes Summarised

There was little change in the Budget to address the needs of one-parent and shared parenting families in Ireland. However, the main rates of social welfare payments went unchanged and there was a small increase in Child Benefit rates for 2015. A small bonus for Christmas for recipients of many social welfare payments was also among the Budget 2015 announcements made today. askonefamily, our information service, summarises the key changes relevant to one-parent families below.

Summary of Relevant Budget 2015 Changes

Main social welfare payments rates (including One Parent Family Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance Transition, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Carer’s Allowance and others)

  • The rates of weekly payment will remain the same in 2015

Child Benefit

  • Increase of €5 per month, per child, from January 2015 to €135 a month, per child.

Back to School Clothing and Footwear

  • This payment is maintained in 2015

NEW***Christmas Bonus

  • Recipients of long term social welfare payments will receive a bonus payment of 25% of weekly payment this December 2014. This includes recipients of One Parent Family Payment, Carer’s Allowance, Disability Allowance, long-term Jobseeker’s Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance – Transition, Community Employment, Back to Work Allowance, Widow/Widower’s pension, Job Initiative and some others

NEW***Back to Work Family Dividend

  • For one-parent families and long term jobseeker families with children who find or return to work, they will be able to retain the Qualified Child Increase of €29.80 per child, per week, for 12 months and then 50% of the rate for a second year. This applies to employment and self-employment.  This Back to Work Family Dividend (BTWFD) will be in addition to eligibility for Family Income Supplement (FIS) and will not affect the level of FIS payment.
  •  In order to be eligible for the BTWFD then a person must be coming off their main social welfare payment (One-Parent Family Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance or Jobseeker’s Allowance – Transition), in full and going into employment or self-employment.   A person who is already in employment and in receipt of One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) and who then increases their hours of employment to the point that they are no longer eligible for OFP because their earnings from work are in excess of €425 a week (gross) or who is no longer entitled to an OFP payment because of the age of their youngest child may then qualify for the BTWFD.  Applications will be open in January 2015.

NEW***Water Subsidy

  • For those in receipt of Fuel Allowance then an additional €100 a year will be paid as support towards water services. The Water Support payment will be paid at a rate of €25, four times a year for a total yearly payment of €100.  First payments will be issuing by the end of March 2015. If you have been awarded the Fuel Allowance then you will automatically receive the Water Support payment.


  • No increase in taxes on petrol or diesel or Motor tax

Income tax

  • Increase in the standard rate tax band for a single people from €32,800 to €33,800
  • Higher tax rate reduced from 41% to 40%

Universal Social Charge (USC)

  • The Universal Social Charge rates have been reduced; the 2% rate drops to 1.5% and the 4% rate drops to 3.5%
  • Entry point for paying USC going up from just over €10,000 to just over €12,000 in 2015


If you would like further clarification on any of Budget changes, contact askonefamily on 1890 66 22 12 or by email.

Government Promised to Make Work Pay but Budget 2015 Will Push More Vulnerable Families Out of Work

Press Release 

Government Promised to Make Work Pay

But Budget 2015 Will Push More Vulnerable Families Out of Work

(Dublin, Tuesday 14 October 2014) One Family – Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone and sharing parenting – today responds to Budget 2015 acknowledging the small increase in the universal child benefit and the partial reinstatement of a Christmas Bonus, yet noting that the failure to commit to retaining the Income Disregard level or provision of affordable accessible childcare prove that Government’s ears are still not fully open to the voices of Ireland’s one-parent and shared parenting families.

Karen Kiernan, One Family CEO explains: “Enda Kenny said that this Budget would be about building for the future. Yet thousands of one-parent families are denied that opportunity. Research shows that it is poverty, not family structure, that most impacts on outcomes for children. While the child benefit increase of €5 and the partial re-instatement of the Christmas Bonus may be welcomed by some parents, these are not cost-effective measures that will impact on poverty levels in any tangible manner without being tailored to respond to need. 53% of lone parents are in the labour force yet one-parent families remain those statistically most at risk of poverty.  Maintaining the Income Disregard would be an effective step towards making work pay, rather than forcing low and middle income families into the preposterous position of being less well-off when working.”

Stuart Duffin, One Family Director of Policy & Programmes, states: “Let’s be absolutely clear. If Government wants to invest money to help working parents, tailored investment in education and not expensive one-size fits all activation measures is a way of doing that. Together, both the NGO sector and the Government could do a lot more at far less cost by improving access to part-time education. Government must recognise the importance of locally tailored services.”

One Family’s 10 Solutions campaign – 10 effective measures that Government could implement at low or no cost – have been partially listened to but not fully addressed meaning that the disastrous legacy of Budget 2012 will continue to entrap one-parent families in poverty.  With over 55,000 more lone parents being moved onto the live register by 2015, with little in place, more children will grow up in poverty.

Karen Kiernan continues: “One-parent families in working poverty and parents sharing parenting of their children have borne the brunt of spending cuts such as the changes to the Single Person Child Carer Tax Credit last year, and the ill-formed re-activation measures flagged in Budget 2012. Government should be doing everything it can to help poor children, not condemning more children to join them. There is no future in that.”


Available for Interview

Karen Kiernan, CEO | t: 01 662 9212 or 086 850 9191

Stuart Duffin, Director of Policy & Programmes | t: 01 662 9212 or 087 062 2023




Government Policies Push More One-Parent Families Out of Work and Into Poverty

Press Release

Government policies push more one-parent families out of work and into poverty –

One Family Annual Review 2013

(Dublin, Monday 29 September 2014) One Family – Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone and people sharing parenting – launches its Annual Review 2013 amid ongoing trends of embattled parents leaving work due to poorly thought-out government policies, lack of quality out of school care and rising accommodation costs.

Karen Kiernan, One Family CEO explains: “2013 was another hard year for one-parent families in Ireland. The poorly planned policies in Budget 2012 are pushing more people parenting alone onto social welfare fulltime as they cannot afford to work, attend education or get workplace experience due to government cuts. This makes no sense and is counter-intuitive as on the one hand government is forcing people onto the live register when their youngest child is seven, whilst at the same time making it harder for them to stay connected to the labour market as the income disregard has been slashed. We know that work isn’t working for far too many families. We must move on from attacking those parenting alone to addressing real needs by helping people stay in work by increasing the income disregard in Budget 2015.”

Stuart Duffin, One Family Director of Policy & Programmes, highlights: “One Family’s Annual Review 2013 shows a 20% increase in calls to our national askonefamily helpline specifically in relation to social welfare and finance issues as parents try to make work pay, often unsuccessfully. This is because the support they get from the State is continuing to decline in real terms, the barriers to returning to or staying in work can be insurmountable for many and government policies are working against them.”

One Family’s 10 Solutions campaign addresses this as a matter of urgency. Research shows that a key contributor to children’s futures is not the structure of their families but living in consistent poverty.  Current policies mean that Ireland risks seeing more poor children becoming poor adults. This is catastrophic for their life chances and the public purse. But it is not too late to change this.

Karen continued: “We saw a massive increase in tax related queries as Budget 2014 removed the One Parent Tax Credit which is another example of the government not understanding the needs of families who share parenting of their children. The tough qualifications for rent supplement is also pushing people out of work and many families are becoming homeless – this is a matter of urgency.”

One Family’s Annual Review 2013 can be read/downloaded here

A short video summarising One Family’s Annual Review 2013 and 5 key demands for Budget 2015 can be viewed here.

One Family’s demands for Budget 2015 are:

  1. Work must pay for low-income families.
  2. Income disregard cannot be cut anymore and the minimum hours qualification for FIS eligibility should be reduced.
  3. Those on the OFP must have equal access to all of the government activation measures and access to free part-time education to help them get into sustainable careers.
  4. Out of School Childcare needs to be recognised and supported so that parents can access education, training and work.
  5. The Single Person Child Carer Tax Credit discriminates against those sharing parenting – most often against Fathers, and is out of step with the realities of contemporary Irish family life.

One Family’s full Budget Submission can be read here.

Lone parents are being forced out of employment.  The ongoing reduction of the income disregard – the amount a lone parent in receipt of the One-Parent Family Payment can earn without a reduction in supports as they transition into employment – from €146.50 to €60 per week is working against Government policy. This reduction means that it is no longer financially viable for many to work which is the opposite of what Government claimed to set out to do – support lone parents into employment.  Although 53% of lone parents are in the labour force, one-parent families remain those statistically most at risk of poverty.  This cannot be justified.


About One Family

One Family was founded in 1972 as Cherish and is Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families 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 lo-call askonefamily national helpline on 1890 62 22 12, counselling, and provision of training courses for parents and for professionals. One Family also promotes Family Day and presents the Family Day Festival every May, an annual celebration of the diversity of families in Ireland today ( For further information, visit

Available for Interview

Karen Kiernan, CEO | t: 01 662 9212 or 086 850 9191

Stuart Duffin, Director of Policy & Programmes | t: 01 662 9212 or 087 062 2023





Video | Annual Review 2013 and Five Budget Demands

One Family Annual Review 2013 CoverToday we launch our Annual Review 2013. Throughout the year, we offered 3,611 individual service offerings and 2,474 in-person service interactions; an increase on the previous year of 9%.

Also today, we reiterate our demands for Budget 2015 (our full Pre-Budget Submission can be read here) which is scheduled to be announced on Tuesday 14 October.

This short video features our CEO Karen Kiernan who summarises our Annual Review, and our Director of Policy & Programmes Stuart Duffin, who states our five key Budget demands to Government.