Fianna Fáil Leader and TD for Cork South Central Micheál Martin says the Minister for Social Protection is singling out one parent families in Cork for more cuts this year. Almost 6,500 families in Cork are in receipt of the One Parent Family Payment, but because of changes to the scheme, brought in as part of Budget 2012, hundreds if not thousands of these families will see their payments cut this July.
Deputy Martin commented, “The changes to the One Parent Family Payment were brought in under the radar but will have a huge impact on hundreds of families across the city, with some payments being cut by as much as €80 a week. Since 2012 the Government has been gradually reducing the age and income eligibility thresholds, and excluding more and more families from the payment.
“Many one parent families depend on this payment to keep on top of their household budget, but the changes which have been introduced year on year are placing an increased financial burden on them. These eligibility changes, which will see the payment taken off some families, comes on top of cuts to child benefit, reductions in the Back to School and Clothing Allowance and a new tax on maternity benefit. Minister Joan Burton and her Government seem intent on attacking the most vulnerable, and families in particular.
“As a result of these sneaky changes many single parents will find themselves caught in a trap whereby they will be unable to survive on the One Parent Family Payment if they want to stay at home and look after their children, but will also be unable to afford childcare costs if they choose to stay in the workplace. Cork parents are understandably worried about the impact this latest round of cuts, which are due to come in in July, will have.
“Fianna Fáil introduced the One Parent Family Payment to provide essential supports to single parents, however, this Government has been chipping away at the scheme over the past three years. These underhand changes are cruel and unnecessary and will further add to the financial burden that parents across the city and county are under”.