Who is looking after the Working Poor?

Who is looking after the Working Poor?

Government inaction on childcare and housing means that work does not pay for many one-parent families

[Dublin, 5 March] One Family, Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone, sharing parenting and separating said that Government inaction on childcare and housing means that work does not pay for many one-parent families. The statement comes following the publication of a new report from the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP), entitled Working, Parenting and Struggling, which found that the rate of in-work poverty among lone parents more than doubled between 2012 and 2017.

 CEO of One Family Karen Kiernan said, “Successive Governments have pushed one-parent families off social welfare but have failed to put adequate supports such as income supports, accessible childcare or housing supports in place to make work pay. This new report from SVP adds to the pile of Government-commissioned research and independent research all saying the same thing – the majority of lone-parents and their children are living way below the poverty line and forcing them off social welfare into low-paid precarious employment is not working.”

Ms Kiernan added, “The Indecon report (2017) which examined the impacts of Budget 2012 cuts on lone parents, said 63% of respondents in full-time employment couldn’t afford 3+ items on the deprivation list, meaning that they are experiencing deprivation daily, and in-work poverty. Who is concerned about the fact that they are fulfilling Government policy by working full-time but their children are suffering?

The SVP’s Working, Parenting and Struggling report states that lone parents in Ireland are almost 5 times more likely to experience in-work poverty than other households with children (20.8% compared to 4.2%). Figures that are backed up in the SILC report published in December 2018  which said that individuals living in households where there was one adult with children aged under 18 continue to have the highest consistent poverty rate at 20.7%. 

“Work should pay. Budget 2019 included a number of welcome improvements in income supports for one-parents families but more needs to be done. We are calling on Government to introduce targeted educational, employment, childcare and housing supports for the most vulnerable children and parents in our society so that we do not leave another generation behind.”  

Notes to editor:

About One Family: One Family was founded in 1972 as Cherish and is Ireland’s organisation for one-parent families and people sharing parenting, or separating.

Available for Interview

Karen Kiernan, CEO | t: 01 662 9212 or 086 850 9191

Further Information/Scheduling

Noel Sweeney, Communications and Events Manager | t: 01 622 9212 or 085 7241294