Fiona O’Loughlin spoke to Tracey who lives in Clondalkin with her 18 month old son.
Fiona: How have the cutbacks in recent budgets affected you and your family?
Tracey: “I am single parent and I work part-time two days a week. My childcare costs me €75 per week so losing the early child care supplement will hit me very bad. I was getting €93 per month and this will now be cut to €45 per month until December but then it’s gone altogether. Between this and the other cutbacks I don’t know if it will be worth my while staying in work, even though I want to.
It is hard being a single parent and trying to work because there is no childcare provided by the government. The childcare supplement wasn’t enough but it was better than nothing and that is what I’ll be getting next year.
The government keep going on about people on one parent family allowance going to back to work and I am trying but they are making it very hard for me.
I have also lost the Christmas bonus of about €250. This wasn’t a bonus for people on low income like me, this paid for Santa and a new outfit from Penney’s or Dunnes for my son. We barely get by as it is, but now our kids are meant to do without at Christmas because of what rich bankers did with their money.
The money I get towards paying the interest on my mortgage has also been cut and might be again in the next budget. It was €234 a month but now it is €145 a month. Then on top of this I think next year I will lose the mortgage interest relief I get on my tax.
Overall as things stand I am losing nearly €2,500 a year because of this government, that is an awful amount of money for me. And they say in the newspapers and on the television that the most vulnerable are not being touched!”