Families will lose out in welfare switch

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by Bernie English dsp_logo[email protected]

A LONE parent from Limerick says that changes in the way allowances are paid will leave her worse off by as much as €200 a month.

Amanda Keane fears that she will no longer be able to make ends meet for herself and her two daughters when she has to change from One Parent Family payment to Family Income Supplement.

Amanda from Janesboro has been raising her two girls aged nine and eleven on her own since the death of her partner six years ago.

She works part-time as a career carer but says he now fears she will have to work longer hours and that even if she can get more work, the family will be no better off.

“I’ll lose out by around €50 a week and I just can’t afford that but working longer hours means childcare. I’m lucky that their grandparents are very good and help out but Joan Burton doesn’t seem to have taken into consideration the fact that children are only in school between 9am and 2.40pm,” she told the Limerick Post.

The young mother was speaking out after the issue was raised at a meeting of Limerick City and County Council’s Metropolitan District committee.

Cllr John Loftus (AAA) proposed that the council should “register its full support for the 3,440 one parent families in Limerick city by writing to the Minister for Social Protection, urging her to ensure that no family is disadvantaged or has their income cut with the changes to the One Parent Family payment in July”.
After members voted in support of the motion, Cllr Michael Hourigan (FG) pointed out that “Limerick has about 20 per cent more lone parents than any other part of the country and the cost of bringing up a child is huge”.

Cllr Cian Prendeville (AAA) said there is “a war being waged against working class women”.

Ms Keane agrees with the sentiment. “Every year in the budget they seem to take a dig at one-parent families. They’ve already reduced the Back to School allowance to €100. Sending a child back to school costs a lot more than that.

“I think as loan parents we should stand up for ourselves more. Families are going to lose out badly and every family with a child older than seven will be affected”.