SINGLE parents campaign group SPARK predict chaos in 2015 with the changes to One Parent Family Payment (OPF) on the way..
On January 17 in Liberty Hall, SPARK launched their campaign to fight the cuts planned for this year.
SPARK is a campaign group of single parents who came together after Budget 2012 to fight the cuts and changes.
They always new 2015 would be the most challenging year, as this was the year Minister Burton had planned to unleash the worst of her cuts.
Despite lone parents been the poorest sector in society, suffering the highest levels of deprivation, our Government has chosen to make them the scape goats of the crisis. Here are just some of the cuts for this year.
If your youngest child is over 7 and under 14 you transfer to Job Seekers Transition payment (JST). You must apply by May, and engage with re job activation and attend a seminar requested by Social Welfare.
If your youngest child is over 14 years old you now transfer to Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), and you must apply by July.
If you currently work less than 19 hours in a part time job, you will have to choose between living on JSA or income from part time work.
Lone Parents that receive half rate carers with OPF must change to full carers allowance when youngest child is 7 years. This is a loss of €84 per week.
Only 500 affordable after school places are been made available for the 40,000 lone parents.
Joan Burton, the Minister responsible, saw lone parents as an easy target, however SPARK has made it clear that they are not going to be her scapegoat.
Over the month of February to coincide with social welfare letters been issued, SPARK will be having public meetings in as many local areas possible.
To get involved check out SPARK on Facebook, and updates on public page Irish Single Parents Fightback.