Lone parents in Clondalkin would have received letters from the Dept of Social Protection over the past few weeks to inform them of cuts to their One Parent Family Payment on July 2nd when their youngest child is seven years of age. SPARK campaign is a group of single parents across Ireland who came together after Budget 2012. Most of Budget 2012 cuts and changes are to be implemented this year. This meeting in Clondalkin is part of SPARK’s national campaign to organise a resistance to these cuts.
Leah Speight of SPARK says “The main financial impact of these cuts will be hitting those parents who are working. For example a lone parent on minimum wage working 20 hours will loose 50euro a week, and that will increase to 80euro over the next two years. Minister Joan Burton has claimed that these cuts are an incentive to get lone parents into the work place. Nothing could be further from the truth, she is cutting the income of working lone parents and putting a barrier in place for those looking to get employed. As it is lone parents are the poorest sector in society, and these cuts will only further increase poverty rates for one parent households. I would encourage all lone parents in Clondalkin to attend meeting to link up with other single parents and get active to put a stop to these unjust cuts.”.
Cllr Gino Kenny says “Minster Joan Burton has to be made accountable for her unbroken promise to lone parents. She said she would not go ahead with changes to the One Parent Family Payment unless she had a Scandinavian childcare system in place. This has not happened and lone parents are left without the much needed supports in place to enter the workplace. The stigma and stereotyping of single mothers must end, and unfortunately it has been driven from Government representatives. Minster Burton has portrayed single mothers as lazy and a burden on society. The most recent report that revealed 63% of lone parents suffer two or more forms of depravation on a regular basis is not the shame of single mothers, it is the shame of this Government. I recently attended the national launch of SPARK campaign and they are a group that has been making great progress. I have received many calls the last weeks over these cuts and this meeting in Clondalkin will be a great way to get a local fight back on the issue.”