Thousands of lone parents to get reprieve from cuts

Thousands of lone parents are set to get a reprieve from cuts to their support payments after a decision by Tánaiste Joan Burton to exempt carers from the budget-saving measures.

Her spokesman last night confirmed 800 parents will be allowed keep the half-rate carer’s allowance until their youngest child reaches 16.

The parents will also be allowed to keep their lone- parent allowance. An extra 400 parents who are carers but had changes made before to payments will also get the reprieve, it was confirmed.

Under the planned changes in July, over 30,000 parents will lose their one parent family payments. They will be moved onto jobseekers’ payments if their child is seven. Some parents’ groups claim adults could be up to €80 a week worse off under changes.

However, campaign group Spark welcomed the changes for parents who are carers. “The fact that they had to reverse bad decisions going back to Budget 2012, shows how little impact assessment had been done before these draconian measures were introduced. We have exposed one crack in the policy and it is now important that we stand united and protect all our families,” said Louise Bayliss.

Ms Burton announced the change during the passage of social welfare legislation through the Dáil this week. She said:

“The measure that I am proposing acknowledges the special situation of lone parents who are caring and, in particular, acknowledges the commitment of lone parents who are caring for people other than their own child, such as a parent or sibling who requires full-time care and attention.”


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