Child Benefit must not be cut – Ó Snodaigh
Sinn Féin Social Protection spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh has said his party will oppose any attempt to cut Child Benefit payments. Deputy Ó Snodaigh said if the government wants to target high earners in the upcoming budget then the way to do that is to target their income through taxes.
Speaking today he said:
“Sinn Féin rejects any further cut to child benefit. Child Benefit has already been cut by both the Fianna Fáil government and the current Labour/Fine Gael government.
“The cut is not necessary. The books can be balanced without it. If the government wants to target high earners in the budget then it should go after their income. This would also be more beneficial for the economy.
“Sinn Féin has proposed a third income tax rate of 48% on income over and above €100,000 bringing in €365 million. The return on the proposed cut in child benefit would return only €200 million.
“Although the minister is refusing to show us the detail of the new leaked report I am very concerned that the means test will be set at miserly threshold, possibly limiting the full payment only to those who are dependent on social welfare. This will create the very unemployment trap that the current child benefit system so effectively avoids.
“The department’s own value for money review of child benefit published in 2010 demonstrates the dependence of middle income families on child benefit. It’s analysis found that households in the 4th and 5th of ten income bracket fall below or onto the poverty line after paying their taxes and it is child benefit that then lifts them onto and over the line respectively.”