Burton defends changes to lone-parent payments

Burton defends changes to lone-parent payments

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton is defending changes to lone-parent payments.

Fianna Fáil is criticising the Government for reducing the payment to single parents with children over the age of seven.

From July 2, single parents who are working and have a child over the age of seven will see a reduction in the amount of hours they are allowed to work before receiving the payment.

Minister Joan Burton said she and her department were working on ways to encourage lone parents back to training or employment.

"We're changing a system where somebody a lone parent might end up having to be on social welfare for up to 22 years," she said.

"What we're saying is that when a child is seven years old and generally settled in school that at stage all our activation measures will be available (to lone parents)."

Under the planned changes in July, more than 30,000 parents will lose their one parent family payments. They will be moved onto jobseekers’ payments if their child is seven.

Ms Burton said the changes were to get lone parents out of the poverty trap and into work. Instead of getting payments, families will be offered education and training supports.

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