During 2015 an estimated 40,000 lone parents will lose their One Parent Family Payment because their youngest child is 7 years of age or older. Parents with a child over 7 years old and under 14 years of age will transfer to Job Seekers Transition in July 2015, and for those whose youngest child is 14 years they will transfer to Job Seekers Allowance. The Dept. of Social Protection is getting ready to issue up to 58,000 letters to affected lone parents from January 21st to inform them about upcoming cuts. The cuts planned this year are part of Budget 2012, a budget that has for the past two years cut the income of lone parents.
Cllr Gino Kenny attended the launch of a campaign organised by single parents campaign group SPARK on Saturday 17th January in Liberty Hall. Speakers at the campaign launch were Dr Clara Fischer, Stuart Duffin of One Family, Gregor Meakin, and Louise Bayliss. On behalf of SPARK, local meetings will be held across the country to build a campaign against these cuts and Cllr Kenny will be working with SPARK in Clondalkin to have a meeting in February when worried parents will by then have received a letter from Social Welfare.
Cllr Gino Kenny says “I predict chaos when these letters are issued, and as a local representative I will be expecting many phone calls from irate parents. In 2012 Joan Burton promised she would not go ahead with these cuts without a Scandinavian type childcare system in place. The minister has put in place only 500 after school places across the country for 40,000 parents. It is unsure how many places will be available locally in Clondalkin. There is no doubt it will not even come close to meeting the demand. Since 2012 the cuts to income disregard has resulted in the numbers of parents on One Parent Family payment in some form of employment decrease from 60% to 36%.
“It is clear by these figures that these cuts are creating a greater poverty trap for lone parents. As it is they are the poorest sector in society. There are 3461 lone parents on the housing list in SDCC, this is over a third of the councils housing list. There has to be an end to this madness and unjust suffering inflicted on one parent families. I would encourage any worried lone parent to get involved with the campaign SPARK.”
Visit the SPARK Facebook here