Teachta Tully said:
“Parents of babies born during the pandemic have been under huge pressure as they have struggled to find suitable childcare once their parental leave ends.
“Many crèches are closed, or taking severely reduced numbers due to social distancing and family members are also unable to provide childcare due to restrictions on households mixing under public health guidance.
“As a result, parents have been forced to take unpaid leave to look after their babies.
“In the Budget, the Government pledged to give families three weeks of paid Parental Leave to address this, but almost four months later the money is still nowhere to be seen.
“Families can’t keep waiting. This isn’t good enough. Families need support now and can’t be expected to wait any more. This is a considerable amount of money, which will make a big difference to families’ finances.
“My colleague, Sinn Féin TD Claire Kerrane, has been raising this consistently in the Dáil yet the Government simply aren’t acting.
“Many families are being badly affected by this delay. Their finances are already tight, and they should not have to face the financial burden of this Government’s inaction.
“This is something they are entitled to and will make a real difference to the finances of thousands of families. The delay is unacceptable. The Government needs to act now and address this.”