NOT so very long ago, Tánaiste Joan Burton ruled out cutting of allowances for single parents until a “gold-standard” childcare system was in place.
Those allowances were cut yesterday, but the facilities — “like the ones in Scandinavia” — remain a long-fingered dream. Has Ms Burton made one of this Government’s spectacular and frequent U-turns?
The rules around these allowances are complex, but the situation facing many single parents is starkly simple: They, among the most hard-pressed groups in society, face a cut in income just at the point when so many sectors are flexing their muscles and demanding “pay restoration”.
These cuts come in a society where government will not confront objectionable practices, such as zero-hour contracts and pay rates that make living with dignity an impossibility.
Reform is a two-way street and, if something is curtailed, it must be replaced, or supported, with something else. That has not happened in this case and another minority has been hung out to dry. This issue will undoubtedly add great colour and passion to the coming election campaign.
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