Burton’s Cover-Up of Cruel Cuts and Broken Promises To Lone Parents

Tánaiste Joan Burton’s reply to Seamus Healy’s parliamentary Question calling for the reversal of Lone Parent Cuts is a tissue of deception and political spin.

The reply of the Minister does not directly deal with her promise, on the record of the Dáil, that the changes to be introduced would not proceed unless a child care system similar to that in Scandinavian countries was in place.  Instead she says that the provision of child care is not the responsibility of her Department. But the promise was made by Minister Burton. As a member of cabinet and Tánaiste, Minister Burton is collectively responsible for all government decisions and omissions.

Burton’s Cover-Up of Cruel Cuts and Broken Promises To Lone ParentsShe then attempts to convey that the childcare is available. She says: “My Department in conjunction with the D/CYA, introduced the after-school child care scheme and the community employment childcare programme in 2013 and 2014 respectively”.  There are 30,000 parents with at least one child affected by the changes; the Government has introduced only 500 after school places. These are available to all low income parents and places can be occupied by the child for one year only. Originally there was budget provision for 6,000 such places but the money was spent elsewhere by government.

In previous statements the Minister and the Taoiseach have said that the “incomes” of 20,000 of the 30,000 lone parents in question would not be affected. The unwary are invited to believe that these families would not have a nett loss of money. She omits the fact that they will now have to pay for childcare or place further burdens on extended family members.

The statement also fails to mention that the income disregard for working lone parents with youngest child over 7 years is being reduced from €90 per week to €60 per week by the changes

The Reply of the Minister and her previous statements are a prize example of spin and deception.

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