Statement | Response to Indecon Report on One Parent Family Payment Reform

One Family Response to the Report ‘Indecon Independent Review of the Amendments to the One-parent Family Payment since January 2012’

A long-awaited report, prepared by Indecon Research Economists on behalf of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, was released late this afternoon. It is regrettable this this important report has been made available on the evening before Budget 2018 is scheduled to be announced, as it warrants attention that it may not now receive.

Our initial analysis of the 141-page report highlights that:

  • While the Exchequer saves €45m net, lone parents and their children are poorer as a result of the recent reform of the One Parent Family Payment (OFP).
  • It is an in-depth report yet no recommendations and only short conclusions are offered.
  • Can any report guarantee accuracy if some of the survey questions from which the data is drawn provided only positive response options?
  • Where is the recognition of the parenting responsibilities of lone parents? One Family is shocked that childcare appears to be mentioned only twice.
  • Where too is the recognition of the impacts of the fear, stress, and uncertainty placed on lone parents and their children as a result of this reform; and the lack of clarity in its communication and implementation? 43% of parents reported that their family wellbeing decreased due to the reform and 40% said their children’s wellbeing decreased.
  • There is no indication that the marginal increases in employment will have any longevity given the precarious and low paid nature of these employments, and 53% of survey respondents stated that the OFP reforms resulted in being financially worse off. Only 20% noted an improvement.
  • 63% of the respondents in full-time employment stated that they cannot afford 3+ items on the deprivation list, meaning that they are most definitely experiencing deprivation daily, and in-work poverty.
  • There is no acknowledgment that lone parents in education and in receipt of OFP or Job Seekers Transition Payment (JST) and rent support cannot avail of the SUSI maintenance grant.

The report acknowledges that “a potential concern is that many of those who lost OFP remain unemployed or in low paid or part-time employment” and that “a key challenge for policymakers is to assist lone parents to become more integrated into the Irish labour market.”

One Family’s Pre-Budget Submission includes recommendations that would enable Government to achieve this. The failure of the reform of the OFP means that it is essential that Minister Doherty engage with these recommendations.

They include:

  • Full restoration of the Income Disregard.
  • Allow BTEA and SUSI maintenance to be payable together, targeting those most distant from the labour market.
  • Increased CDAQCI for older children and poorer families.
  • Target employability supports for lone parents.
  • It is also essential that, as we have consistently called for, the Department’s Case Officers receive training to support lone parents appropriately and in recognition of their lived realities.

One Family’s Pre-Budget Submission can be read here.

The Indecon report can be read here.

Press Release | Government Must Use the Evidence: New Report Confirms Increased One-Parent Family Poverty

Press Release

Government Must Use the Evidence –

Another New Report Confirms Increased Poverty in One-Parent Families  

(Dublin, Monday 2 October 2017) One Family – Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone and sharing parenting – responds to the news that a report by Indecon Economic Consultants commissioned by Government to examine the impact of austerity measures on one-parent families confirms what One Family has been saying for years; lone parents and their children who are reliant on social welfare are suffering more since Governmental reform and cuts of the One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) introduced in Budget 2012.

Karen Kiernan, One Family CEO, explains: “Media coverage of the forthcoming research confirms what One Family has been saying for the past five years – the cuts since Budget 2012 were counter-productive, have led to increased child poverty in one-parent families, and must be fully reversed. Government needs to face the facts and respond effectively in this year’s Budget.

“The evidence is piling up showing that lone parents and their children have been damaged by the Budget 2012 cuts including the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection report in June on The Position of Lone Parents in Ireland; Maynooth University’s research on the barriers to education for lone parents published in August; and Lone Parents and Activation, What Works and Why: A Review of the International Evidence in the Irish Context, commissioned by the Department of Social Protection and conducted by Dr Michelle Millar and Dr Rosemary Crosse of the UNESCO Child & Family Research Centre in NUI Galway, published last September. Each of these reports provides a clear pathway of what is needed.”

The new Indecon report is based on a national survey of 34,000 one-parent families which began in April and is focussed on “the financial, social, poverty, and welfare dependency impacts” caused by cuts and reforms. It was specifically tasked with providing an overview of the impact of these changes to the One-Parent Family Payment and associated social welfare cuts.

Karen continues: “It is not acceptable to ignore vulnerable children and families. Politicians must do their job and follow the evidence. The Government has committed to lifting 100,000 children out of poverty and must use the resources available to them to achieve this. Most poor children live in one-parent families and their childhoods have been hit hard by cuts in recent years. Now there is an opportunity to invest appropriately and to ensure that lone parents can afford to work, can afford to access education, and can afford to feed their families.”

Valerie Maher, One Family Policy & Programmes Manager, states: “There is an extensive submission by leading Irish NGOs in association with Better Outcomes Brighter Futures – the National Strategy for Children and Young People outlining how the Government can reach its target of reducing child poverty rates in Ireland. As detailed in our Pre-Budget Submission for 2018, this is where the focus needs to be ensuring that work pays for lone parents on social welfare by reinstating the income disregard; ensuring that they can access education irrespective of their housing tenure; and focussing payments on the most vulnerable children and young people. The future for these children depends on what actions Government takes now.”

Notes and Links for Editors


About One Family One Family was founded in 1972 as Cherish and celebrates its 45th year in 2017 when the organisation will also relocate to Smithfield, Dublin 7. It is Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families and people sharing parenting, or 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 lo-call askonefamily national helpline on 1890 662212, counselling, and provision of training courses for parents and for professionals. One Family also promotes Family Day 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

Valerie Maher, Policy & Programmes Manager | t: 01 662 9212 or 086 084 6826

Further Information/Scheduling

Shirley Chance, Director of Communications | t: 01 622 9212 or 087 414 8511