herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Working single parents now to lose €30 a week

LONE-parent groups have reacted with dismay at the scrapping by Joan Burton of a €30 per child support payment.

Single parents working in community schemes will lose out as a result of the change by the Minister for Social Protection.

The benefit currently sees single mothers and fathers receiving qualified child increases (QCIs) while working in the local projects.

However, they have now been informed the payments will be scrapped from February 20.

Frances Byrne, chief executive of lone parent group OPEN, said her organisation estimated it would cost low-income families a net €1,000 a year.

She said the community employment scheme "provides a lifeline, particularly during fierce unemployment" and for people who "have low educational attainment or maybe live in an area where there aren't jobs".

Ms Burton is seeking to save €14m by doing away with QCIs, making up the majority of the €21m she hopes to cut in lone-parent supports, it was revealed.

Some 4,500 single mothers and fathers were notified of the change earlier this month.

Single parents receive €188 a week on social welfare and €29.80 per child per week.

They can also continue claiming €208 a week under the community employment work scheme. The qualified child increases of €29.80 per child, connected to the CE scheme, will no longer apply. No comment was received from the Department of Social Protection at the time of writing.

comurphy@herald.ie

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