Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection Deputy Willie O’Dea TD has said that a report published today by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) highlights that additional supports are needed for lone parents who are particularly at risk of poverty and social exclusion.

Commenting on the issue Deputy O’Dea said: “I very much welcome the publication of this report, which provides an important insight as to how social risk and social class can influence social exclusion. The report demonstrates that the disadvantage experienced by lone parents can be ‘linked to the real challenges involved in parenting alone in a context where lone parents are increasingly expected to work but childcare is both scarce and expensive’.”

“‘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 O’Dea.

“The Social Welfare Bill is before the Social Protection Committee tomorrow and I have 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.”

“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 takes heeds of this research and adopts a more fairer and progressive approach to lone parents and their children than his predecessor,” concluded O’Dea.