“The Dept. of Social Rejection!”

Posted: February 10, 2012 in Comment
Tags: , , , ,

A letter has been sent out this week to many Single Parents in Ireland, or as the Dept of Social Protection calls them, Lone Parents.  Now this is not unusual, as many people in receipt of Social Welfare often receive correspondence from the relevant Depts, according to their welfare needs.

So, the communication, is not at issue here, but the content is:

The letter is notifying Lone Parents of the changes made to their allowance, which were announced in the now long forgotten Budget of 2011. And it not pleasant reading at all. The Dept website has a copy of this letter, which can be viewed here:


Now, let’s take a look at these changes, a Lone Parent, whose payment is more or less, about 30 euro above the unemployment benefit (in the case of One child), has now been told that they can earn no more than 130 euro a week before their allowance is effected, the previous figure was 146.50 euro.  A reduction of 16.50e.

This roughly translates at 15.02 hours per week at the minimum wage (8.65) for an adult over 18, http://www.jobsguideireland.com/minimum-wage-rate-in-ireland/

Now, if our Lone Parent wants to try to improve their lot, and due to the restrictions that single parenting can manifest, they may avail of a training scheme of 20 hours per week through FAS, which would provide a further 188.00 euro, or that should be, used to provide that amount. http://www.fas.ie/en/Allowances+and+Grants/Training+Allowances/default.htm

For you see, the new changes to the Lone Parent payment, have put and end to that, it states that a ‘dual’ payment is no longer an option. Some may say that’s a great thing, others may say, it is a retrograde step.

Another massive and really quite stupefying amendment is that from 2015, any child over the age of 8 years of age, is no longer considered worthy of support by the state, or am I reading that wrong? Think about it, an 8 year old child, through no fault of their own, in their third year of primary education, is not worth supporting……. a saving by the government that will carry a cost into tomorrow’s future…….

It is important to state at this juncture, that how an individual has arrived at being a Lone Parent is not in question here, Bereavement, Seperation, Teen Pregnancy, among others are all part of the equation, and not the responsibility of the vulnerable child.

So let’s summarise what the government are proposing:

1.A Lone Parent, if working, will be penalised for trying to create a better living within the confines that single parenting creates, by working.

2.This same parent, where once being able to offer their skills on a manageable time basis of 20 hours per week, through a FAS course, is now being told, they can have one payment or the other, but not both. In any one’s language, as the payments are more or less the same, it is clear, that the incentive to work,or upskill, has been removed by such thinking.

3. As of 2015 a Lone Parent with a child over the age of 8 will be considered neither Lone nor a Parent by the state, as no supporting payment will be available.

So the conclusion I have arrived at this this:

A Lone Parent is often excluded from the work force due to requirements and demands that  confront the single parent, and therefore, are unable, in many cases to sign on as a JobSeeker,  which is a requirement to avail of a FAS Training course, and when their child hits their 8th birthday, both the Parent and child will find themselves left in a void of non existence according to the state.

And the government are proposing to hold a referendum later this year, that enshrines the rights of the child into our constitution….

Dept of Social Protection?

Perhaps it may be better described as the Dept. Of Social Rejection!!!!


  1. That is just shocking ! How does a child over 8 not qualify for state support etc. I’m stunned. Dear God how can that be right ?? M

  2. Well Maura, I appreciate that the Dept website doesn’t declare that as such, but the way I read it, it appears to be the end result…..and if so, totally disgraceful

  3. John Murray says:

    This is just another example in a long list of ‘hidden’ cuts from budget 2012. Cuts were not fleshed out and explained properly. They found cute ways to save the dept money using a calculator without giving a single thought to equality across the board. The ‘dual payment’ for single parents who found some type of part time work is gone at that limit and will make , in some cases their part-time employment unessential from an employers point of view. Tell an employer you can’t work Saturday afternoon because i will lose my allowance – you lose your job! business is business after all but obviously not in Gov circles.

  4. loumackar says:

    Nothing shocks me anymore!! Do these people that we let run our country actually know how much many people of Ireland are suffering?

    I wonder do the government know something we don’t, like maybe by 2015 we shall be out of recession and there will be thousands of jobs available for all that are on the dole and the many single parents that will be taken off the lone parent payment as their child is 8 or over.

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