Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Mid-West & Chair of the Social Protection Committee John Curran has welcomed Minister Varadkar’s decision this week to review the punitive changes that were made to the One Family Payment by the previous Fine Gael led Government.

“The Social Welfare Bill was before the Social Protection Committee this week and Fianna Fáil submitted an amendment calling for the changes to the One Parent Family Payment to be reviewed in light of the high rates of poverty and deprivation being experienced by lone parent households.”

John Curran said: “The punitive changes to the One Parent Family Payment that were introduced by the last Government must be reviewed. Quite simply, many lone parents and their children are living in significant poverty, and social exclusion is increasing in lone parent households. I meet many one parent families in my constituency of Dublin Mid-West who are really struggling to make ends meet.

“Fianna Fáil is very cognisant of the challenges faced by lone parents and their children and we as a party were very vocal in our opposition to the harsh and punitive changes made to the One Parent Family Payment by the previous Government. The decision to reduce eligibility for this payment has caused a great deal of hardship for many lone parent households,” added Curran.

“This week the ESRI published a report into Lone Parents which highlights that additional supports are needed for lone parents who are particularly at risk of poverty and social exclusion. It is important that we learn from this research and from what lone parents themselves are telling us. Lone parents need a social welfare system that reflects the fact that they are parenting alone and supports flexible working arrangements.

“We must also ensure that adequate and affordable childcare supports are available. I hope that Minister Varadkar carries out this review of the One Parent Payment in a timely fashion and takes heed of this research and adopts a more fairer and progressive approach to lone parents and their children than his predecessor,” concluded Curran.