Water Charges | What You Told Us

Every month One Family invites a response to our short, 3 question survey. Our survey for September 2014 was in relation to the proposed water charges due to commence, at the time of writing, in January 2015. The aim of the survey was to find out how those parenting alone or sharing parenting feel about the charges and how they have been implemented to date.

A selection of survey responses include:

“I often skip dinner to ensure my son will have a dinner the next day. I am sick of counting slices of bread or watching in envy when someone gets to buy a newspaper. No idea where I am meant to find the money for another bill.”

“I live in an apartment and I still do not know how much I’ll have to pay. I can’t even budget or anticipate. My daughter spends 2 nights with her dad so don’t know if this will be taken into account or not. What if he was first with sending the pack to Irish Water and he claimed the allowance first?”

“I am a lone parent to 5 year old twin boys, stuck on rent allowance. I have a disability and I’ve recently had my heating cut off because I couldn’t afford the bill and now they want €220 to switch it back on which I can’t afford . Water charges will cripple this household altogether.”

“I am a single father with two young kids living with me nearly 50% of the time. I pay maintenance on top of this. I support them fully for 50% of the time and get no child benefit. The government have already taken a tax credit from me. This is an extra insult to single fathers like me. It is almost as if Fine Gael is deliberately making it too financially difficult for single fathers to co-parent.”

“I will have to reconsider working. I am a lone parent, I earn €450 per week. €110 a week rent, €120 a week childcare, other bills including electricity, broadband, mobile, heating, car expenses etc total €150. I have nothing left over and the water charges are the last straw for me. My job, which I love, may need to take a back seat.”

You can read the full Water Charges survey results here. Take this month’s survey on Reaction to Budget 2015 here, or view all of our monthly survey results.




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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