Written answers

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Social Welfare Payments

Photo of Violet WynneViolet Wynne (Clare, Sinn Fein)
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118. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of recipients of the one-parent family payment in each of the years 2011 to 2021, by county in tabular form. [3810/22]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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As the Deputy is aware, my Department publishes recipient numbers by county in annual and quarterly formats. Annual reports, including an archive of reports dating from 1998 onwards, are available through gov.ie/dsp/statistics. Quarterly data is available through the national open data portal, data.gov.ie. The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the table below.

">One-parent family parents

Photo of Violet WynneViolet Wynne (Clare, Sinn Fein)
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119. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 1759 of 19 January 2021, if he will account for the drop-off of recipients between 2014 and 2015; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3812/22]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The figures to which the Deputy refers indicate that the number of recipients of One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) in County Clare reduced from 1,175 in 2014 to 646 in 2015. This is not surprising given the changes to the eligibility rules for OFP and the introduction of the Jobseeker’s Transition Payment (JST) during that period.

Budget 2012 included a number of significant reforms to the OFP scheme. In particular, the age of children in respect of whom a person could qualify for OFP was reduced. Originally, a person could receive OFP until their youngest child was aged 18 years or 22 if they remained in full-time education. The reduction in the age threshold of the youngest child was implemented on a phased basis during the period 2013 to 2015. Once the reforms were fully implemented a lone parent’s entitlement to OFP would continue until their youngest child’s 7th birthday (subject to continuing to satisfy the other qualifying conditions).

The Jobseekers’ Transitional Payment was introduced to provide income support for lone parents with older children. It can be paid until the youngest child’s 14th birthday. These changes mean that lone parents whose youngest child was age 7 or over, but under age 14 would have moved from OFP to JST during the period in question.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

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