It’s not our opinion only. A government commissioned report has found that a policy introduced by former Minister For Protection, Joan Burton, compelling lone parents to look for work, does indeed sometimes leave parent and child poorer off.
The Unesco Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway says the controversial change introduced in 2012 could be having:
“perverse effect of encouraging welfare dependency and reducing household income.”
It continues by saying any “unintended consequences of this policy” of trapping these families in greater poverty “should be rectified to ensure being in work leads these families to being better off”.
The report, Lone Parents and Activation, What Works and Why (DOWNLOAD HERE), includes a comparison of international experience of activating lone parents as compared to Ireland, aiding parents get back to work – as well as interviews with others active around the issue including lone-parent groups.
Care of Joan Burton despite many objections and warning from others about consequences, the lady saw to it that in 2012, thousands of lone parents were to be moved off the One Parent Family Payment. Using children’s ages against their parent in order to transfer them, they were then shoved onto Jobseeker’s Transitional payment. They were often then ‘invited’ (translation: “you have NO choice!”) to engage in training, while those whose youngest was 14 or over were just involuntary placed upon Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Many lone parents, especially those who had been working part-time and earning less than €90 per week (amount a parent could earn without their payment being affected) – saw their finances fall as a result of moved to Jobseeker’s Allowance. The results also for many was that childcare was still too expensive and inadequate to allow many to seek work, that might have left them ahead financially. Instead, it left them in deficit more.
Joan Burton’s notion which she then saw rammed through as legislation, also took no account of difficulties of parents of disabled children, those in rural areas without transport or those with little education. Those 24 hour a day, 365 day a year situations just apparently vanished or didn’t exist any more by the Burton plan now being criticised.
Mainstream, RTE especially so far, has failed to adequately highlight this issue. UnitedPeople will however, continue to cast light on what poor government of the past and present would rather stay hidden from voters!