Fianna Fáil has called for the immediate reversal of the brutal cuts to lone parent supports after the Government lost a vote on the issue in the Seanad yesterday.

A Fianna Fáil motion condemning the latest cuts to the One Parent Family payment was passed in the Seanad last night, by 24 votes to 23.

The Fianna Fáil Seanad Leader Senator Darragh O’Brien has said a strong message has been sent to the Government that these latest cuts are intolerable.

“It is no longer credible for the Government to stand by the dramatic scaling back of supports for lone parents. Fine Gael and Labour have ignored the outcry from parents, the warnings from charities and the advice of think-tanks. To now ignore a vote in the Upper House would fly in the face of democracy,” the Dublin Senator said.

“It is sickening to see the extent of Labour’s sell out. Joan Burton promised three years ago that she would only cut the One Parent Family Payment if she got a credible and bankable commitment on affordable and accessible childcare, similar to the system in Scandinavian countries. Instead we now have the most expensive childcare in Europe and young families are being squeezed from every angle.

“Joan Burton and her colleagues are engaged in a full scale abandonment of struggling families. A lone parent working 20 hours a week on minimum wage with one child will have lost a total of €108 a week due to recent cuts to support. Absolutely nothing has been done to ease the huge burden of childcare costs on families. We now have a situation where many parents simply cannot afford to work. These anti-family and anti-women policies are a disgrace and they must stop.

“The Government has been sent a strong message now and they must listen. It is time for a full and immediate reversal of brutal cuts to lone parents.”