Lone Parents and the Need for Equality Budgeting – Irish Times Article


Lone parent Michelle McFarland from Kildare and her 14 year old daughter - she says she faces cuts of up to €140 a week.The Irish Times recently published an article by one of our campaign co-ordinators, Dr. Clara Fischer. Fischer highlights equality budgeting as a solution to the increasing pressures and inequality faced by lone parents in Ireland:

“While other countries routinely use impact assessments and equality-proofing as part of the policy process and, importantly, before decisions are made, Ireland lags behind by refusing to introduce such measures – measures that would give teeth to empty promises of protecting “the vulnerable”.

The most recent cuts to lone parents highlight the fact it is now time for the introduction of equality-proofing and impact assessments, as the Government’s current approach does not work. Not only is the present stance on lone parents morally problematic, but it is having the opposite effect to that intended.

Although the cuts were ostensibly introduced to increase lone parents’ participation in the labour market, there are now fewer lone parents working than in 2012. This clearly is a policy failure, which can be traced directly to structural problems with the way in which policy is made in Ireland. With that said, it is still not too late for Government to reconsider, to undertake a review and to amend its stance accordingly.”

Read the full article on the Irish Times website here.