Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has called on the newly appointed Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty ‘not to continue the blatant disregard her predecessors have had for lone parents.’
Speaking on the publication of the ‘Report on the Position of Lone Parents in Ireland’, Teachta Brady said:
“The Committee on Social Protection have spent a considerable length of time meeting with stakeholders, listening to the experts and listening to lone parents themselves in producing this report with a number of recommendations.
“There has been a consistent failure by previous Ministers for Social Protection to recognise lone parents as a specific cohort of our population who need additional assistance as they raise their families alone.
“While eradicating child poverty is said to be Government’s priority for some time, latest CSO figures on Income & Living Conditions has contradicted this with an increase in consistent poverty among children in lone parent families to 26.2%. This figure is alarming and is evidence that the issues being experienced by lone parents which have led to this rise in consistent poverty are going ignored.
“The Committee have made a wide range of specific and targeted recommendations including, the full restoration of income disregard for those on One Parent Family Payment and Jobseekers Transitional Payment, making Jobseekers Transitional and Family Income Supplement payable together, and increasing the Qualified Child Increase for teenagers.
“The report also recommends a number of measures to remove barriers to accessing education such as making the SUSI grant and the Back to Education Allowance payable together and removing the requirement for lone parents to be unemployed and in receipt of social welfare for 6 months before being able to access educational grants.
“I am calling on Minister Doherty to read the Committee report and to work to implement the recommendations for the benefit of lone parents and their children across the State.”