Wednesday 18 September 2019

FF criticises Doherty over 'deprivation rates' for lone parents

 

Response: Minister Regina Doherty said she has ‘consistently prioritised the needs of the most vulnerable in society in my last two budgets’. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
Response: Minister Regina Doherty said she has ‘consistently prioritised the needs of the most vulnerable in society in my last two budgets’. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Fianna Fáil has hit out at the Government over deprivation rates among lone parents that are "significantly" above the EU average.

Social protection spokesman Willie O'Dea said the latest data reveals that the rate of material deprivation for lone parents in Ireland is 17.9pc, compared with an average of 13.3pc in other EU countries.

The data, from 2017, comes from the Eurostat EU-SILC (Survey on Income and Living Conditions). It shows the percentage of the population that can't afford items of household expenditure including rent, mortgage and utility bills, home heating and unexpected expenses.

Mr O'Dea said it showed that despite the economic recovery, "a significant percentage of lone parents continue to struggle".

He acknowledged the figures were going in the right direction, but also criticised Minister Regina Doherty, saying it was time she "stopped promising and started delivering".

Last night, Ms Doherty said she had "consistently prioritised the needs of the most vulnerable in society in my last two budgets" and would continue to do so.

One example she gave was the Qualified Child Increase for all weekly social welfare payments, which directly benefited 400,000 children. There has also been a €5 increase in the past two budgets in weekly social welfare payments and a €25 increase in the Back to School Clothing Allowance.

She said it was very encouraging that the survey showed the declining numbers living in poverty and she was confident this would continue to fall.

Irish Independent

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