Fianna Fáil Chair of the Oireachtas Social Protection Committee and TD for Dublin Mid-West, John Curran said that while he welcomes the publication of the report into lone parents, it will not have a material effect on lone parents unless the government take heed of its findings and recommendations.

“I very much welcome the publication of this long awaited report as it gives a very good insight into the needs of lone parent households, and the challenges they face on a daily basis.”

“Research indicates that while there are no silver bullets to lifting lone parents and their children out of poverty, a full suite of measures can prove an effective way of assisting lone parents into sustainable employment and increasing income levels.”

“Employment and financial supports, education and training, and support towards the cost of childcare all need to be put in place together to help lone parents get back into the workforce.”

“The retrograde changes to the One Parent Family Payment, introduced by the previous Government, have had detrimental and negative consequences on families. I know from my work in Clondalkin and Lucan that parents who are parenting on their own are struggling. These changes were supposed to support employment activation, and to ultimately reduce poverty, but in fact, the opposite has happened – many families headed by lone-parents are financially worse off.”

“Both Ministers, Varadkar and Zappone, must take heed of the findings of this report. A lot of time, and money, was spent producing and publishing this report, it must not be left to sit on a shelf and gather dust.”

“Both the social welfare and child welfare systems need to be more responsive to the needs of lone parent households. This report, and the families it relates to, must not be ignored.”

“Lone parents, and their children, have suffered from the effects of punitive measures taken by the last Government. Ministers Varadkar and Zappone must make sure the mistakes of the past are learned from,” concluded Curran.