Social Welfare Bill risks creating a generation of latch-key kids
I am calling for the removal of section 4 of the
Social Welfare bill in advance of this week’s debate on the issue.
Forcing lone parents on to a jobseekers payment is
nothing more than accounting trick cooked up by the EU-IMF Troika. It
bears no relation to the reality of life for lone parents doing their
best to bring up their children.
This provision was signed up to by Fianna Fail in their final days in
office and requires revision.
Everybody has both a right and duty to seek opportunities for employment
where appropriate. Yet it is the job of the state to put in place proper
childcare provision, legislation to facilitate flexible working hours
and a family friendly policy which places the needs of children and
their carers at its heart.
Some of the 4.7 billion left in the National Pension Reserve Fund
should be used to roll out a world class child care system which would
create jobs while also empowering and assisting lone parents to take
up education and employment opportunities.
Labour in government introduced the one parent family payment in 1997
and the Oireachtas committee tasked with examining the single working
age payment have called for its deferral.
The saving to the taxpayer by this change will be zero over the next
four years and it will artificially inflate the live register.
This week I will be supporting various NGOs and campaign groups
working with and for and lone parents in opposing section 4 of this