Mick Wallace And we have a Government that would rather close down a County than close a meatplant. And then blame the workers f… https://t.co/tRb1YbP9zq
Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: Idea that Cushnahan + Coulter were the only ones who may have behaved badly in #NAMA sale of Project Eagle is not credible…
Mick Wallace Maybe I missed it but did the #EU and High Representative @JosepBorrellF come out and condemn unreservedly the Apar… https://t.co/maqVJ4DMFx
Mick Wallace Would #EU and High Representative @JosepBorrellF tolerate this behaviour of #Israel's from anyone else? Is Israel a… https://t.co/sNmsE5jKLH
To ask the Minister for Social Protection if she will commit to protecting one parent families from further budget cuts in view of the sustained attack on these households which has been carried out over the course of successive austerity budgets including Budget 2012; if she will target limited resources towards tackling the high rate of single parent households that are at risk of poverty and social exclusion; and if she will make a statement on the matter. - Mick Wallace. For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 25th April, 2012.   REPLY In the past, income support for people of working age, including lone parents, has been passive in nature, with little systematic engagement by the State with the customer. This is now changing. Long-term welfare dependency and passive income support to people of working age are not in the best interests of the recipient, of their children or of society.   Despite significant levels of State spending on one-parent families, as well as improvements made to the OFP scheme over the years, the results have been poor in terms of tackling poverty and social exclusion. Lone parents and their children continue to experience high rates of ‘consistent poverty’. Consistent poverty is the official measure of poverty used by the Government to set the national poverty target in the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2007-2016. Consistent poverty is a targeted measure which identifies the population both at-risk-of-poverty (income below 60% of median income) and experiencing basic deprivation (lack two or more basic necessities). EU-SILC figures (2011) show that, in 2010, 9.3% of lone parents in Ireland were experiencing ‘consistent poverty’. The comparable rate in 2009 was 16.6 per cent and in 2008 was 17.8 per cent. However, the rate of consistent poverty among lone parent households is 50% more than the population as a whole. The national poverty target is to reduce the rate of consistent poverty to between 2 and 4 per cent, with the ultimate aim of eliminating it.   The EU measure of at risk of poverty or social exclusion is a much broader measure of poverty, combining three separate indicators (at-risk-of-poverty, severe material deprivation and low work intensity).   The one-parent family payment (OFP) has played an important role in providing income support to lone parents. Changes have been made to the payment since its introduction in 1991, reflecting the changes taking place in society, the labour market and the expectations and realities of parents’ lives, and particularly of mothers, in terms of work and care. These reforms continue that change. They recognise parental choice with regard to the care of young children, while, at the same time, having an expectation that parents will not remain outside of the workforce indefinitely.   It is recognised that the best route out of poverty and social exclusion is through paid employment. Work, and especially full-time work, may not be an option for parents of young children. However, supporting parents to participate in the labour market, once their children have reached an appropriate age, will improve both their own economic situation and the social well-being of themselves and of their families.   These reforms will require a whole of Government response, with regard to the provision of the appropriate education, training, employment and childcare supports including the provision of appropriate after-school care. The development of the National Employment and Entitlement Service (NEES) and the profiling of jobseekers, which is already underway in my Department, will lead to a better identification and understanding of the supports that individual customers need and the extent to which these are available and affordable.   The changes introduced in the Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2012 are being brought in over time. Between now and 2014, the consequences of these changes will be examined on a cross-departmental basis and in consultation with the groups that represent lone parents. As part of this examination, discussions have already been taking place between officials from my Department and from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs with regard to the development of a policy framework around child care, including after-school care and, in the short-term, the assessment of the extent of the current provision of such care, the costs of such care to parents, and the demand for such services from lone parents.

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Namaleaks is a project that seeks to uncover possible injustice and poor practice related to NAMA (National Asset Management Agency) and financial institutions in Ireland.


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