Thursday, 19 April 2012

SIPTU Welcome Minister Burton‘s Statement on Affordable Childcare

A spokesperson for SIPTU’s Community Sector Campaign has welcomed Minister Burton’s statement that she will abandon proposals to restrict the one parent family payment if adequate affordable childcare provisions are not included in this year’s budget.

Introducing the Social Welfare Bill in the Dáil last night Ms Burton said that she would only proceed with plans to reduce the upper age limit for the payment to the youngest child to seven years when she had received “a credible and bankable commitment from the government on the delivery of such a system of childcare.”

Darragh O’Connor, Sector Organiser with SIPTU declared “We welcome the Minister’s statement as a positive recognition of the concerns expressed by the “Seven is Too Young” campaign which we are very proud to support. We have many members who are single parents who stand to suffer a further serious cut to their incomes if these measures are implemented.”

“Our members also welcome the Minister’s recognition of the crucial role of the provision of affordable childcare. The Minister can make a further positive contribution in this regard by committing to secure funding for Community Employment (CE) Childcare Schemes currently funded by her department. These schemes have had training and materials grants frozen pending the completion of an overall review of CE funding.”

“However the Minister has already made a very positive statement regarding the future funding of Community Employment at the Labour Party conference. Her comments yesterday correctly imply the need to not only restore this funding but also to grow and develop this successful model of community childcare across every region of the country."

“Restoring support for Community Employment Childcare would also have the added advantage of ensuring that opportunities for single parents to find a pathway back to work are enhanced rather than restricted.”

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