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Hands off Child Benefit – McDonald

13 October, 2009

The proposal made by the ESRI to cut child benefit by 20% has been described as outrageous, unfair and a scape-goating of children by Sinn Féin Vice President Mary Lou McDonald.

Speaking today after the ESRI made proposals to cut child benefit and to freeze social welfare payments Ms. McDonald said:

“Children should not be scapegoated for the incompetence of the fat cats. Child benefit is part of the average family’s income. Families are now struggling to make ends meet and the idea that children are now being asked to carry than can for the greed and incompetence of others is outrageous.

“Cuts have already been made to child benefit and the early childcare supplement has already been abolished. This Government must back off children and take its hands off child benefit.

“Making a flat cut to child benefit would not be fair or equal and it will not bring about economic recovery. In fact, as this money is spent directly in the local economy in most cases, it will most likely have a further negative effect on the economy.

“The reality is that those who are proposing cuts in child benefit are the very people who are not dependent on these payments and have no sense of the everyday reality for those who are.” ENDS

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