More than 3,000 Galway families are set to lose anything up to €80 a week from July as the age threshold for the One Parent Family Payment is cut from 16 to seven, a move which could force some parents out of the workplace, a local TD has warned.
Fianna Fáil Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív is calling on the Social Protection Minister, Joan Burton, to “stop the cull” on the payment, arguing that it is the difference between such families “keeping their heads above water and falling into poverty”. The changes follow reductions to the Back to School and Clothing Allowance as well as a new tax on maternity benefit.
The Cornamona based TD described the age eligibility changes to the One Parent Family Payment as another “attack on families, and vulnerable families in particular” - Galway alone has more than 3,000 families in receipt of the payment. He also argued that the cut will put parents under increasing financial pressure and may even force some parents out of the workplace in order to continue to qualify for the payment.
“These underhand changes are cruel and unnecessary and will further add to the financial burden families in Galway and right across the country are under,” said Dep Ó Cuív. “Many are already extremely stretched as a result of high education and childcare costs. Essentially, if Minister Burton continues to ram through these measures, she will be condemning a generation of children to a life of poverty and inequality”.