Story by Alan Jacques – [email protected]
IRELAND’S leading organisation for one-parent families has expressed serious concern that the removal of tax credits and allowances in last week’s budget will have disastrous consequences for separated fathers and mothers across Limerick who share parenting of their children.
The One Parent Family tax credit of €1,650 was previously available to both working parents sharing parenting after separation. From next year, it is being replaced by a single person’s child carer tax credit of €1,650 which will only be available to the parent in receipt of Child Benefit.
Stuart Duffin, director of Policy and Programmes with One Family organisation, said that children will be affected by the fact that there will be less money to go around in families that are already being hit hard by the cutbacks in social supports.
“Claimants of the One Parent Family tax credit are working mums and dads who are committed, responsible parents participating in a successful arrangement with their child’s other parent for the well-being of their child. This is an in-work support and the kind of mechanism that needs to be in place to deliver Pathways to Work, a cornerstone initiative of the Government’s recovery programme”, he said.
According to Mr Duffin, One Family has received a barrage of calls from worried parents who are already pushed to their limits. He claims there is a lack of “joined up thinking and policy” between the Departments of Finance, Social Protection and Children and Youth Affairs with the Government penalising the good practice of shared parenting.
“We are actively calling for clarity and action to ensure that working parents don’t become welfare recipients,” said Mr Duffin.
Concerned parents can contact the lo-call askonefamily helpline on 1890 662 9212 or by emailing [email protected]