Tánaiste Joan Burton TD reneges on promise to Lone Parents.

Deputy Seamus Healy has called on Minister Alan Kelly TD and Minister Tom Hayes
TD to insist that Tánaiste Joan Burton TD keeps her promise to withdraw changes for
Lone Parents due on 2nd July next.
When Minister Burton first announced these changes’, she promised in April 2012 not to
proceed with them unless affordable childcare had been introduced by Government
She said that the new rules would not be implemented unless there was a “system of safe
affordable and accessible childcare in place, similar to what is found in the
Scandinavian countries to whose systems of social protection we aspire”.
The Minister promised that she would “only proceed with the measures to reduce the
upper age limit to seven years in the event that I get a credible and bankable
commitment on the delivery of such a system of childcare by the time of this year’s
budget. If this is not forthcoming, the measure will not proceed.” (April 2012).
The Tánaiste is now reneging on that promise.
From July 2, 2015 when the youngest child of a single parent reaches 7 years of age, the
parent will be transferred from the One Parent Family Payment to Transition Job Seekers
To be eligible for the Jobseekers Transition allowance  “you must participate in employment
activation measures and you have to participate in any recommended course of education,
training or employment programme. If you don’t participate you may be paid a lower amount
of JST (a penalty rate).” If you cannot afford childcare, you will have to accept a lower
“penalty rate” if you need to look after a 7 year old child.
In addition, from July 2nd lone parents working more than 19 hours a week would lose the
one-parent family payment when their youngest child turned seven years of age. Up to 32,000
families will be affected by this measure and, in many cases, their incomes will be slashed by
up to €80 per week.

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