Tuesday, March 14, 2017
The Children’s Rights Alliance welcomes the opportunity to provide initial comments on the proposed Working Family Payment currently in development. The design of the payment will be key to ensuring that it is effective in achieving its main objectives.
This submission is broad, aiming to capture Government commitments and policy frameworks that should impact on decision making on the proposed Working Family Payment; raising questions for the Interdepartmental Working Group convened by the Department of Social Protection (DSP) to consider in its deliberations on the payment; and highlighting Irish research findings that should be considered in deciding on the need for and design of a Working Family Payment.
We understand that the Working Group to develop the payment has met and that, following further analysis and discussion, it is intended that its proposals will be considered in the discussions for Budget 2018. The Children’s Rights Alliance recommends that further consultation should be under taken the DSP on drafts proposals to develop the payment or to substantially reform income maintenance and taxation for families.
Every child has the right to an adequate standard of living. While parents and guardians have the primary responsibility to provide for the child’s material needs, the State also has the responsibility to assist parents and guardians to alleviate poverty where needed. In 2016, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed its deep concern at the ‘significant increase in the number of children living in consistent poverty’ and in particular referred to single-parent households.