askonefamily | Budget 2016 Social Welfare Changes

askonefamily_200px Logo_Small_LRWe have summarised some of the main changes from Budget 2016 (presented on 13 October 2015) which may affect one-parent families. If you or anyone you know would like information regarding your individual circumstances, askonefamily is available on 1890 66 22 12 / 01 662 9212 or by email here.

Budget 2016 | Social Welfare Changes

  • No change to the main social welfare payment rates, which include One-Parent Family Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance Transition and Jobseeker’s Allowance, so it remains at €188 a week for the adult and €29.80 per week, per child.
  • The earnings disregard of €90 a week, which applies to One-Parent Family Payment, will now also apply to Jobseeker’s Allowance Transition. Earnings over €90 will be assessed at 50% rather than the previous 60%. This will apply from January 2016.
  • Fuel Allowance will increase from 1st January 2016 to €22.50 a week, up from €20.
  • Family Income Supplement net income thresholds will increase between €5 and €10 a week, also from January 2016:
Family size 2015 rates 2016 rates
1 child €506 €511
2 children €602 €612
3 children €703 €713
4 children €824 €834
5 children €950 €960
  • Child Benefit will increase by €5 a month, from January 2016
  • The Christmas bonus will be paid in December 2015 to long-term social welfare recipients at a rate of 75% of their payment; this includes those on One-Parent Family Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance transition, Carer’s Allowance, Disability Allowance, Widow/Widower’s/Surviving Civil Partner’s Pensions.
  • It will also be paid to those on Back to Work Allowance, Community Employment, Rural Social Scheme, Tús, Gateway and Jobs Initiative.
  • There will be 2 week Paternity Benefit, in respect of births from September 2016.
  • Those on Carer’s Allowance who have been in receipt of the Respite Care Grant will receive an increase in the payment, to €1,700 and it will be called the Carer’s Support Grant.

The information above can be downloaded here.

Press Release | Budget 2016 Let Down for Poor One-Parent Families; Child Benefit Disappointing, Income Disregard Welcome

Press Release

Budget 2016 a Let Down for Poor One-Parent Families

Child Benefit Disappointing, Income Disregard Welcome

(Dublin, Tuesday 13 October 2015) One Family, Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone, sharing parenting and separating, today responds to Budget 2016 acknowledging that Government listened to us and the parents we support by providing a modest increase in a parent’s ability to stay in low paid employment by increasing the income disregard of those on JobSeekers Transition Allowance (JSTA). However a Child Benefit giveaway to everyone is unstrategic and does not address the children pushed into poverty by this Government. This approach does not fit with the Government’s self proclaimed family-friendly Budget for 2016.

Karen Kiernan, One Family CEO explains: “This Government has heaped cuts on those one-parent families who rely on social welfare in the past four Budgets. Child poverty rates have rocketed, particularly in one-parent families and some social welfare reforms have run contrary to Government policy. Therefore equalising the amount someone can earn whilst on the JSTA is just common sense in supporting people to move off welfare and into sustainable employment. However welcome this tweak is, much more needs to be done to provide a package of supports to help parents work and we haven’t yet seen any sign of that.

“It is not good enough that some families are supported more than others, if Government really wants to be family-friendly to all families then more needs to be done to be aware of the reality of the diversity of families in Ireland what they need.”

Stuart Duffin, One Family Director of Policy & Programmes, states: “Government has not listened to the calls of many organisations in the voluntary sector to target resources at the poorest children in Ireland rather than giving a pre-election €5 to everyone on Child Benefit. What low-income working families need is the Family Income Supplement adjusted so that it makes work pay by reducing the qualifying hours to 15 hours per week and tapering the payment; as well as recognising the value and costs of shared parenting by providing the Single Person Child Carer Tax Credit to each parent.  It seems also to have ignored recommendations put forward by the OECD and ESRI in their recent reports showing that parents continue to have higher jobless rates than others. We know that Government has seen the evidence. It is, shockingly, yet to be seen to effectively act on it continuing not to invest the required levels in childcare and afterschool care.”

Government should be doing everything it can to help poor children, but Budget 2016 lets families down again. One Family calls on Government to respond to the lived realities of one-parent families and get it right.

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