WORKING MOTHERS; Minister to Force Single Parents into Jobs or Training When Kids Turn Eight
Byline: By GERALDINE COMISKEY
SINGLE mums may be forced to work, study or train once their children reach eight, it emerged yesterday.
The tough new measure is intended to save the state millions in benefits.
Social Affairs Minister Seamus Brennan will propose the new legislation when the Dail resumes after its summer break.
If it is passed, the Government will be scrapping an allowance which was approved earlier this month by a cabinet subcommittee.
But the country's 80,000 single mothers will not have their allowances cut off immediately,
Mr Brennan said: "I don't believe in cliffs in social welfare. You must move from welfare to work on a slope.
"It is not fair to lone parents who are 28 to 30 years old not to give them some help and support back to work and education."
The mothers will also be obliged to inform social welfare officers once their child is five years old. Then they will then be offered various job, training and education options.
Once their child turns eight, they will be obliged to take up one of the offers.
But the age limit of eight could be raised when the bill enters the Dail.
Mr Brennan added: "We have not signed off on that age yet. We could either go to 10 or 12."
Under current laws, single mums can live on social welfare until their child is 22 and in full-time education. …