Over 9,000 families are to lose their One-Parent Family Payment from today.
The change is dependent on the age of the claimant’s children, along with when the payment began…
By this time next year, almost 60,000 families will have lost the One-Parent Family Payment. “What it actually means for the nearly 60,000 families that are going to be moved off next year is that a lot of them are going to be down money, and they are already extraordinarily poor families, who are finding it difficult to make ends meet”, said Karen Kiernan, chief executive of One Family…
On last night’s Tonight with Vincent Browne, Vincent was joined by Louise Bayliss of single parent action group SPARK Parents to review the papers.
A headline about the Labour leadership contest in the Irish Examiner grabbed her attention.
Vincent Browne: “Louise, what do you want to focus on?”
Louise Bayliss: “Well I’m just looking in here again. We’re having ‘Former Labour deputy backs Burton’, this is inside in the Irish Examiner, page 6 of the Irish Examiner. And you’re just looking at it and you’re saying Burton and…”
Browne: “This is [Labour stalwart and former government minister] Barry Desmond yeah.”
Louise Bayliss: “You’re looking and going [Joan]Burton and Alex White, you know what is the choice there? Like, I feel sorry, I genuinely I say this hand on heart, I feel sorry for grassroot Labour members who put their faith in Labour and are now coming up with a contest between Minister Burton and Alex White. I mean Minister Burton, I know I’m coming from a lone parent’s point of view but only two weeks ago I was at a meeting in the Department of Social Protection where they were talking about the cuts coming in place for lone parents and for some reason even though I would be very aware of what was happening, I never expected that they would make no exception for lone parents with a disabled child and they haven’t. And from next July, a lone parent with a disabled child will lose €86 a week from their weekly income when their child turns 7. For no other reason, their child turns 7, they lose €86 from their weekly income. 27% of their income, that’s a decision made specifically by Minister Burton. That’s not imposed on her by anybody, that was chosen by her and when we’ve tried to put this out she will not listen us. And then we have the other choice of..”
Browne: “Have you spoken to her about this?”
Bayliss: “We have spoken to her.”
Browne: “Person to person?”
Bayliss: “I actually have spoken to her person to person.”
Browne: “And what did she say?”
Bayliss: [Waves hand] “We’ll sort it out, we’ll sort it out. She basically would not debate with us. We’ve written to her. I spoke to her face to face and she just literally just waved me aside as if my concerns meant nothing and you know I think we’re talking about austerity and I do not know any other sector who could take a 27% cut in their income and yet a lone parent; 98% who are women, are going to lose 27% of their income because their disabled child turns 7. They are no more able to work when their child was 6. They are trapped at home and there’s nobody speaking up for them and you know when I look at this and I know that Labour grassroot members hear what I’m saying and they look and they have this choice to make between Minister White who defended medical card cuts and Minister Burton who thinks a lone parent with a disabled child can bear the most cuts, I feel saddened for the Labour party.”
Browne: “Do you think it makes any difference who’s Labour leader?”
Bayliss: “No, I don’t. At this stage, I don’t. Not from the choices that are made here.”
“At 10.30 am this morning, I informed the General Secretary of the Labour Party that I intend to stand down as Leader of the Party, with effect from the election of my successor.
I have asked that the Executive Board of the Party immediately make arrangements for the election of a new Leader of the Labour Party before the end of this Dáil term.
I have had the honour and privilege to lead the Labour Party for seven years.
In 2011, following our most successful ever General Election result, I asked the party to take on the responsibility of Government during the worst economic crisis in the history of the State.
I did so because I believed then, as I do now, that as citizens, and as a party, we had a duty to put the country first. To address the crisis, to get out of the bailout, to reverse the loss of employment, to get the economy to recover, and to do so in as fair and just a manner as humanly possible.
I still believe that was the right decision, and I am proud of the progress we have made in achieving those objectives.
But it was a course which carried a high political risk, and Labour has paid the price for that in the local and European elections. I deeply regret the loss of good public representatives and the defeat of outstanding Labour candidates last Friday.
I have already spoken of the necessity for renewal. The Party and the Government must move on to a new phase and look to the future. Where we have had successes, we must build on them. Where we have fallen short, we must do better. Where new problems are arising, we must find solutions for them. We must, and we will, continue to put the country and the needs of the Irish people first. And in doing so, we must hear, heed and act on the clear message we received last Friday.
There is work to do, and I intend to be part of it, but I believe that the work of renewing the Party is best done under new leadership.
I wish to thank all the members of the Party, all of our public representatives and candidates, the Party Staff, and especially my own staff, who have worked so hard with me and for me over the past seven years.
As I have said many times, I am immensely proud of the courage shown by those members of the Labour Party who, over the past three years, put their country first. Who recognised that real politics is about finding real solutions, and who put loyalty and country before everything else. It has been an honour to lead you, and I look forward to working with you for a long time to come. Thank You.”
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore announcing his resignation as leader of the Labour Party in Iveagh House, Stephen’s Green, Dublin this afternoon.
“I thank him for his outstanding service to the country as Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade over the past three years. Eamon Gilmore and the Labour Party have been courageous in making the collective decisions that have pulled Ireland back from the brink of economic collapse and put the country on the path towards recovery.
As Minister for Foreign Affairs, he has also been pivotal to the restoration of Ireland’s international reputation which has been crucial for investor confidence and job creation.
On a personal level, the Tánaiste and I have worked very well together in managing the work of government. He is a man of integrity, courage and conviction. He has assured me that the Labour Party remains fully committed to providing stable government, and to the completion of our mandate to fix our public finances and to create jobs for our people.
I wish Eamon Gilmore and his family well for the future and look forward to his continued contribution to the rebuilding of Ireland.”
Labour party leader Eamon Gilmore spoke to Aengus Mac Grianna on this evening’s Six One News in light of Labour’s performance in the local and European elections.
“We have to renew Government. We have to renew what we’re doing in Government. We have to hear very clearly the squeeze that families are under and to address that….and the Labour party has to renew itself.”
When asked about his leadership he said:
“Well there’s no question about my leadership. I’ve taken on a responsibility and the responsibility we took on in Government we knew at the time was always going to be a difficult responsibility and I intend to discharge that responsibility and to continue doing so.”