Clarity needed on child benefit – Ó Snodaigh
Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh has called on the Minister for Social Protection to clarify what her intentions are regarding the future of Child Benefit.
Speaking after the Joint Committee on Education and Social Protection heard submissions from the National Women’s Council of Ireland and the End Child Poverty Coalition regarding the Mangan Report on Child Benefit.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh said;
“The Government via the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton have sent out mixed messages in the last week.
“Minister Quinn has suggested that further cuts to child benefit be reinvented in an additional free pre-school year, and the Tánaiste said after that no further changes to child benefit will happen, but the Committee heard that Joan Burton has asked the Ita Mangan group to look again at their Child Benefit thresholds.
“I am urging the Minister to end the doubt and shelve the Mangan Report and recommit to her original election promises, not to cut child benefit.
“The Minister seems to be planning the introduction of a second tier of child benefit which will involve a major cut to child benefit across the board.
“Any second tier of child benefit or support should only be considered as an addition to existing benefits, not as a cut. A practical way of delivering this would be to reduce the income limits used to assess qualification for Family Income Supplement and to increase the dependent child allowance associated with other social welfare payments.”