Social Protection Bill will support parents in returning to work

Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell has said that the Social Protection Bill 2014, currently passing through the Dáil, will support families in the North County and assist parents in returning to work.


“The Social Protection Bill, which is currently passing through the Dáil, shows that the Government is committed to providing families in Dublin Fingal, and across the country, with the necessary supports to allow parents to get back to work. This Bill will give effect to measures announced in Budget 2015 including the increase in the Child Benefit payment from €130 to €135 for each child. This payment is an essential source of income for low and middle income families and I know that many families in the North County use it to help fund their child care solutions.


“Lone Parents will also benefit from this legislation as they will be able to continue to earn €90 per week while retaining their full entitlement to the One Parent Family Payment. This measure will reassure many lone parents that they can go back to work without having to fear being penalised for doing so.


“In Budget 2015, the Government maintained the free year of pre-school care and education for 68,000 children nationwide. In addition to this, €260 million was allocated to support the childcare sector; this includes the continued provision of over 2,000 childcare places, at a cost of €8.4million, to assist low income parents in Community Employment or those in need of after-school care. €72 million has been maintained for the Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) programme and the Childcare Education and Training Support (CETS) programme, from which 34,000 children benefit and these are essential in terms of supporting parents in returning to work.


“Dublin Fingal has the youngest population demographic in the State and, as such, has a large number of families with young children. It is important to ensure that all childcare facilities are of the highest quality as working parents deserve to know that that their children are being well looked after in a clean, safe and fit-for-purpose environment. In July of this year, €2.5 million in capital funding was allocated to 163 community and not-for-profit childcare services to assist them in upgrading and improving their facilities.


“I will continue to work for further supports to make childcare as affordable as possible and to ensure parents are able to return to work.”