ianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection Deputy Willie O’Dea has said that the Government has failed to live up to the commitments made in the Programme for Government to publish a report identify the supports and barriers to accessing higher education for lone parents and examine measures to increase participation.

“The recommendations of this report were supposed to be published in advance of Budget 2017,” said O’Dea.

“Recently, I tabled a question to the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD on this issue, and was told that the review had not been published in advance of the Budget.”

“Minister Bruton went on to say that the review is currently being finalised.”

“The Minister attempted to claim that the review had progressed sufficiently to inform policy discussions between the relevant Departments in advance of Budget 2017,” added the Limerick City TD.

“This isn’t acceptable, and better is needed from the Government when it comes to Lone Parents.”

“Despite promises made when the Programme for Government was agreed, Fine Gael are reneging on commitments made to tackle the issue of social exclusion for one parents and their children.”

“The evidence is clear for anyone to see. Lone parents are amongst one of the most vulnerable groups in Irish society. Nearly 59% of lone parent households experience deprivation.”

“The Government must publish this report as soon as possible, and to use the findings to inform policy and improve outcomes for lone parents and their children,” concluded O’Dea.