The Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2010 this evening (Wed 30 June 2010) completed all stages (Report and Final) in the Dáil and moves to the Seanad next week.
Minister for Social Protection, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, brought forward a Report Stage amendment today to the Bill (as he stated at Committee stage last Monday) in relation to the new proposals for the One-Parent Family payment. The Minister, having considered views put forward at both 2nd Stage and Committee Stage in relation to these proposals, and in particular the views on the supervision requirements for a 13 year old if his/her parent is out at work, has decided to reduce the upper age limit of children for new claimants of the One-Parent Family payment to 14 years rather than 13 as initially proposed.
"It is the Government's view that the current arrangements, whereby a lone parent can receive the One-Parent Family payment until their child is 18 – or 22 if in full-time education – without any requirement for them to engage in employment, education or training, are not in the best interests of the parent, their children or society. The Bill had proposed that for new customers from April 2011, the One-Parent Family payment would be made until their youngest child reached age 13 years.
"Having taken on board the views of my colleagues with regard to this younger age, and having considered the need of a 13 year old for supervision if their parent is out at work, I decided to amend the Bill to change the age by one year up to 14 years. Therefore for new customers from April 2011, the payment of the One-Parent Family payment will be made until their youngest child reaches age 14 years," said the Minister.
The Minister added: "Within the phasing out period for existing customers of the One-Parent Family payment, the entitlements (as stated) will be maintained at 18 years for 2011 and 2012 and will then reduce on a yearly basis from 17 years in 2013 to 16 years in 2014, 15 years in 2015 and then to 14 years in 2016 (as opposed to what would have been a two-year step change from 15 to 13 years in 2016)."
The 6-year tapered phasing out period will remain as part of the provisions for existing customers with the new age of 14 cut off point coming in to effect for them in 2016.
Transition period for existing customers - existing payments will be phased out over a 6 year period, with entitlement to the payment being maintained at 18 years for 2011 and 2012 and then reducing on a yearly basis from 17 years in 2013 to 16 years in 2014, 15 years in 2015 and then to 14 years in 2016.
|Age of youngest child