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O’Brien calls for Dáil debate on school students denied child benefit

24 May, 2012 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Following the refusal of the Ceann Comhairle to allow time for a Dáil debate on the issue of changes to child benefit arrangements which will impact on school-going children, Sinn Féin Cork North Central TD Jonathan O’Brien, called on the government to urgently address the matter.

Deputy O’Brien said;

“I have lodged an official request with the Ceann Comhairle on six separate occasions to discuss the urgent matter of children who will turn 18 before the beginning of the next school year, and whose parents will no longer receive Child Benefit for them. These 18 year olds cannot claim a social welfare payment in their own right meaning that it will be difficult for them to return to school due to the financial pressure that their parents are now under.

“Many parents depend on child benefit payments in order to pay for books and uniforms and other necessities that are not covered by the Back to School Allowance. It highlights the need for proper and meaningful reform. The government must acknowledge the real costs that are entailed for low income families in sending children to school.

“The government has refused to allow time for this debate to happen and it raises serious questions about Ministerial accountability to not only members of the Dáil but the people that elected them.”


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