Concern As Irish Lone Parents Deprivation Rate Exceeds EU Average

Fianna Fáil has raised concern at the high number of lone parents experiencing significant disadvantage across Ireland.

Deputy Willie O'Dea, the party's spokesperson on Employment Affairs and Social Protection made the comments after new information revealed the rate for severe material deprivation for lone parents in Ireland is significantly above the EU average.

The Irish rate currently stands at 17.9% compared to an EU figure of 13.3%.

Deputy O'Dea commented: "This means that a significant proportion of lone parents in Ireland cannot afford at least three of nine basic necessities such as paying their rent or utility bills or keeping their home adequately warm.

"Lone parents are still feeling the effects of punitive policies introduced by Fine Gael and Labour during their last term in government. Prohibitively high childcare and housing costs are adding to the problem, making it difficult for lone parents to make ends meet. Indeed, a recent report from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul on lone parents found that in 2017 living standards of lone parents in Ireland were amongst the worst in Europe and that in-work poverty is a growing issue.

"Fine Gael has been in government for the last 8 years and whilst there has been some marginal gains in recent budgets – brought about by the Confidence & Supply arrangement with Fianna Fáil – we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that they are only trying to right the previous wrongs that they have inflicted on lone parents.

"Minister Doherty needs to do significantly more in order to improve outcomes and living standards for lone parents and their children," concluded Deputy O'Dea.


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