Today we have sent the document below to all Ministers, TDs and Senators to clearly outline why the current process of One-Parent Family Payment reform is failing and to put forward solutions. This document can be downloaded as a PDF here.
WHY REFORM OF THE ONE-PARENT FAMILY PAYMENT IS NOT WORKING AND ONE FAMILY’S SOLUTIONS
Today there are over 215,000 one-parent families in Ireland – 25.8% of all families with children (Census 2011). Of the 95,000 parents in receipt of the One Parent Family Payment when reform of this payment was first announced in Budget 2012, none have benefitted from the reform and an approximate 10% are worse off financially as a direct result of being activated, all are worse off due to cuts. The calls total to One Family’s askonefamily helpline is approaching an increase of 50% in the past 15 months.
Reform of the One Parent Family Payment (OFP) is being phased in with the stated aim of enabling lone parents to move from social welfare into education and employment. To date almost 15,000 parents have been moved from OFP when their youngest child reached the age of at least 7 years old; with almost another 40,000 parents scheduled to be transitioned to other payments – primarily the newly introduced Job Seeker’s Transitional Allowance (JSTA) or Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) – in July 2015. Currently, 65,000 people are in receipt of the One Parent Family Payment.
What are the failures of this reform?
This current system of reform, combined with cuts that were introduced at the same time and the lack of required supports, is failing families. More one-parent families are living in higher levels of poverty. Reform has done little to support lone parents in overcoming systemic barriers, as it has not been appropriately resourced and effectively planned across government. This reform does not address the lived realities and challenges that can be associated with parenting alone.
What is One Family calling for?
What are the solutions?
We are calling for changes in order to address the catastrophic failures that this reform process has created which have resulted in higher levels of poverty, and lower levels of employment and education for one-parent families. The solutions we put forward will make measurable, genuine improvements to the lives of some of the most vulnerable families in Ireland, creating the way for a more productive, inclusive and sustainable workforce and society.
Since 2012, One Family has also promoted our 10 Solutions Campaign; a holistic, low to no cost model of progressive reform that would make government policies more successful and life better for one-parent families. Below we expand on some of the negative impacts of the current reform process and summative solutions.
FAILURES AND SOLUTIONS