63% of One-Parent Family Households in Ireland Suffer Deprivation – Shameful!
SILC Report 2013 Launched Today
(Dublin, Wednesday 21 January 2014) One Family – Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone and sharing parenting – reacts to the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) 2013 results published today, which clearly show that those living in households with one adult and one or more children had the highest deprivation rate in 2013 at 63.2% and the highest consistent poverty rate at 23%, with distress but not surprise.
Karen Kiernan, One Family CEO, comments: “Today’s SILC results amplify what we keep saying. People parenting alone tell us through our monthly surveys, askonefamily helpline and our mentoring, counselling, education and human services that they live on the knife edge of poverty. Government ignores the lived reality of these parents’ caring responsibilities. It continues to enforce new, ill-formed activation measures without provision of effective supports such the long-promised, affordable quality childcare. Over 39,000 lone parents will be taken off their One-Parent Family Payment and moved to Job Seekers Transitional in July this year. The real impact of this will be even more hardship and we’ll see yet another rise in the numbers of one-parent families suffering deprivation in future reports.”
Stuart Duffin, One Family Director of Policy & Programmes, states: “It is shameful and reduces children’s life chances. People parenting alone are still being hit the hardest. Over 800 lone parents who are also caring for adult family members are set to lose another €86 per week this year. How much further can the income gap widen? Austerity has impacted on everyone. Enforced deprivation was experienced by 30% of the population last year, up from 26% in 2012 and the deprivation rate for those at risk of poverty increased from 46% to 53%, which proves that the income gap is widening. How is that just and fair?”
Stuart continues: “One in four families with children in Ireland is a one-parent family, over half a million people. With two thirds of these families shown to live in deprivation and suffering the highest consistent poverty rate, Government needs to finally admit that its current policies are just not working. People parenting alone want to do their best for their children’s futures and 53% of lone parents are in the labour market. But current policies mean that the barriers to lone parents returning to employment or education are leading to an increasing dependence on social welfare over time. It is very difficult to make progress for your family while living under constant fear of an energy bill or the threat of homelessness, as so many thousands of people parenting alone do today. Government needs to listen and act, as its choices condemn one-parent families to persistent poverty.”
One Family recorded a staggering 30% increase of callers to its askonefamily helpline in 2013. The real impact of years of austerity is only now being realised and one-parent families and parents sharing parenting of their children have borne the brunt of spending cuts. One Family reiterates its call to Government to enact its 10 Solutions campaign, with an immediate focus on provision of affordable and accessible quality local childcare. Every parent should have an equal opportunity to create a better future for his or her children. All families deserve an equal chance.
The askonefamily helpline can be contacted on lo-call 1890 66 22 12.
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 (www.familyday.ie). For further information, visit www.onefamily.ie.
Available for Interview
Stuart Duffin, Director of Policy & Programmes | t: 01 662 9212 or 087 062 2023
Shirley Chance, Director of Communications | t: 01 664 0124 / e: firstname.lastname@example.org