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Lalor slates plans for one parent families 30.01.08

GOVERNMENT plans to force single parents dependant on social welfare into the workforce cannot proceed until adequate supports such as affordable childcare and transport are in place," according to a Buncrana councillor.
Cllr. Daren Lalor said the proposed welfare reforms would force lone parents to seek work when their youngest child reaches the age of eight.
"However, at the age of eight a child attends school from nine in the morning until approximately half two in the afternoon.
"That would mean a single parent looking for a job with working hours of nine in the morning till half two and that's only if the parent does not have to get the child to and from school. The reality is that jobs with these hours are few and far between," said the Sinn Féin councillor.
He said another problem was the lack of affordable childcare.
"With childcare costs soaring, lone parents would need to find high paying jobs and, given the often low levels of educational achievements among welfare dependant lone parents, this is highly unlikely," added Cllr. Lalor.
"Surely it would therefore be a much more positive proposal to bring welfare dependant parents into the education system before forcing them into the workforce."
He called on the Government to abandon its plans until adequate supports such as childcare and transport are in place and educational deficits are made up. "To do otherwise would be to force lone parents into low paid jobs that are of no long term benefit and placing them at a greater risk of poverty."
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