Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Willie O’Dea has today launched a bill to ensure that irrespective of the type of social welfare payment a lone parent is in receipt of, the State can still demand the other parent contributes.
Deputy O’Dea has published the Social Welfare (Payment Order) (Amendment) Bill 2017 to correct an anomaly that has been in existence since the Government changed the rules pertaining to maintenance responsibilities and the Lone Parent Family Allowance in 2012.
The Government changed the system that forced lone parents to move to from the Lone Parent Family Allowance to Jobseekers Transition once the youngest child reached the age of seven years.
“The Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2015 which gives the State the right to demand a contribution only refers to the Lone Parent Allowance.
“My simple but effective amendment would extend that to include many other welfare payments to ensure that the State does not lose out.
“I previously raised this issue with the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty TD, and I have decided to proceed with my amendment as I felt that the Government were not moving quickly enough to close this loophole.
“I don’t understand the logic in allowing the Maintenance Recovery Division to operate until a child’s seventh birthday and to then stop because of a legislative anomaly.
“My bill ends that anomaly, and I expect all parties in the Dáil to back my bill and have it enacted as quickly as possible,” concluded O’Dea.