Lorraine Courtney: Government traps parents in classic Catch-22 on childcare
The Government remains determined to coax single parents off welfare and back into jobs, despite mass protests outside the Dáil last week. On July 2, the age limit for the One-Parent Family Payment will be reduced to seven for most claimants. This means that around 32,000 single parents will lose their payment next month.
The move is the final stage in a Government plan to phase out these payments once children reach seven, as part of the strategy to encourage single parents off welfare and into jobs.
One-parent families will now move to a new transitional jobseekers' payment once their youngest child reaches seven. But they will be €53 a week worse-off if they also work in low-paying jobs, while a lone parent, working 20 hours per week on minimum wage, with one child, will lose a massive €108 per week.