The Department of Social Protection says  changes to the One Parent Family Payment are necessary to activate lone parents away from the “passive” OPFP scheme and into the labour market. File photograph: Getty Images

Organisations working with lone parents have warned of the confusion and distress they say has been caused by forthcoming changes to the One Parent Fa(...)

Ashling Lowe and her son Cody (13), Trim, Co. Meath. Ashling fears she will have to give up her job in order to qualify for jobseeker’s allowance, following changes to the one-parent family payment.  Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Ashling Lowe (35) has “always worked” since her son Cody (13) was born. She has washed dishes, worked as a hairdresser and, since 2005, has worked as (...)

The Federation of Irish Sport believes tax breaks for sporting programmes will provide pathways for future stars. Photograph: Eric Luke/Irish Times

Tax breaks for sporting programmes might be a way of replacing the potential loss of funding from a ban on alcohol sponsorship in sport, Oireachtas(...)

Tánaiste Joan Burton: “It’s often missed that the greatest proportion of our spending is on pensions and related supports for older people.”  Photograph: Frank Miller

Welfare spending on children fell last year, while spending on older people increased, according to figures from the Department of Social Protection.(...)

Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said review would focus on how best to structure childcare support so as to support low-income working families. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald told the Dáil she was reviewing two childcare schemes costing a total of €70 million (...)