Trade union Unite today (Monday June 29th) called on the Government to suspend the introduction of changes to the One Parent Family Payment scheduled to take effect this coming Thursday. The union’s Ireland Secretary Jimmy Kelly said that the Department of Social Protection should now undertake a full review of the planned changes, including a comprehensive impact assessment and consultation with advocacy groups representing lone parents.
Commenting, Jimmy Kelly said:
“These savage cuts will affect around 30,000 lone parents, some of whom could face a weekly income loss of up to €140 per week at a time when 63% of lone parents are already suffering deprivation.
“The impact on low-earning women workers will be particularly severe: workers who, in an age of growing precarious employment, are simply unable to increase their hours and who – even if they could increase their hours – are unable to access affordable childcare.
“The inevitable result will be the creation of new poverty traps.
“I am calling on Social Protection Minister Joan Burton to take a step back, suspend the planned introduction of the changes on Thursday, and initiate a full review. In addition to a comprehensive impact assessment, that review should include consultation with the various groups advocating for lone parents and children.
“Lone parents and low earners were among those who bore the brunt of the recession. They should not now be asked to pay for the recovery”, Jimmy Kelly concluded.