Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection Willie O’Dea has said that fairness must be the hallmark of the next Government.

Deputy O’Dea said, “The incoming Government is facing considerable challenges and it is evident that large sections of society have not felt any recovery and are struggling on a daily basis to make ends meet.

“Only the other day a lone parent rang a Cork radio station describing how she had “hit rock bottom” and stole from a supermarket to provide school lunches for her children. This is an appalling situation for anyone to find themselves in. Unfortunately I believe that this is not an isolated case and is indicative of the financial distress that lone parents the length and breadth of the country are currently facing.

“The reality is that almost 59% of lone parent households are experiencing deprivation, while the rate of consistent poverty for lone parent households is 22%. The cuts to the One Parent Family Payment has created a two tier society where thousands of lone parents and their children are being left behind.

“Fianna Fáil believes in an Ireland for all and in our manifesto we committed to restoring the One Parent Family Payment. We believe that a two tier society is not only detrimental at an individual level, but to society more generally. We are committed to ending the two-tier society and to ensuring that fairness will be one the hallmarks of the 32nd Dáil,” said Deputy O’Dea.