On Thursday 2nd July over 30,000 lone parent families will be cut off their One Parent Family Payment.
This change over to Job Seekers Transition and Job Seekers Allowance will result in financial losses for part-time working parents. These cuts are severe and for 10,000 parents this week they will be down anything between €30 to €140 a week depending on the hours they work and the number of children they have. Labour have said these changes are an incentive to get lone parents working, but have failed to acknowledge or answer why it is working parents are down money.
Cllr Gino Kenny says “The amount of money many parents are down is outrageous, and like many public representatives I have been getting calls from stressed parents facing real hardship this week. Both Joanna Tuffy and Robert Dowds have publicly defended the cuts in the media recently, and played down the truth with misleading information. Deputy Tuffy claimed on national radio these cuts are “very progressive” and made a statement that the majority of lone parents are not working. Prior to the implementation of these cuts 60% of lone parents on the One Parent Family Payment were in some form of employment, the need to “incentive” the majority of lone parents was inaccurate. The facts speak for themselves, this failed policy has seen parents in work drop to 36%, with expectations this will further decline.
Joanna Tuffy has been the most vocal advocate of these cuts within Labour, many of her comments in mainstream media and twitter has angered and insulted parents. Not only has she insulted but has failed to admit working parents will be cut. She has also given misleading information in the media by a claim that parents on Job Seekers Transition don’t have to work. This is not the case as there is an expectation that they will seek part-time work or take up training, failure to do so could result in a €44 cut from their weekly payment with no adequate childcare provided.”
Cllr Kenny continues “This week on the Vincent Browne Show Deputy Dowds joined in with the false spins. He said that parents working up to 19 hours are well covered for by getting assistance through FIS, and these measures were there to draw parents in the workplace. A lone parent working 19 hours on minimum wage will be down a total of €108 a week with these cuts, hardly well covered for. Cutting working parents to draw other lone parents into the workplace is a perverse policy.
“I am calling on Joanna and Robert to stop publicly fuelling a false stereotype of lone parents. Behind the stigma is the poorest families in the country, its a national disgrace that 63% of one parent families suffer two or more forms of deprivation. There are children living in poverty and many of those children and families are in this constituency. Maybe someone should incentive Joanna and Robert to reverse these cuts and really work to end child poverty.”