Proposal to cut child benefit shocking – Gerry Adams TD
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has called on the government to “withdraw the Programme for Government proposal to link child benefit to school attendance. I have written to all of the leaders in the Dáil, including the Fianna Fáil leader and Independents, asking them to vote against this at the earliest opportunity.”
He has also called on the Minister for Children Katherine Zappone to act immediately to remove the prospect of this threat being introduced in the time ahead.
Teachta Adams said:
“The proposal contained in the Programme for Government to link the payment of child benefit to school attendance is deeply worrying. It would undoubtedly impact on the most vulnerable families and children in our society, and would do nothing to address the issues relating to school absenteeism.
“One of the most pressing issues of inequality afflicting society, that of child poverty and deprivation, sees 30% of children grow up facing material deprivation year-on-year.
“Child benefit is one of the few universal welfare payments which benefits every child in the State and provides families with the basic means to pay for bare necessities, such as food and clothing.
“The proposal to link child benefit to school attendance shows how out of touch with reality the incoming Government is.
“The Fine Gael government would be better focusing its time and resources on restoring and increasing funding to schools completion programmes and tackling why some children miss a lot of school rather than imposing social welfare cuts.
“The proposal is particularly shocking given it is contained in a section of the Programme for Government entitled ‘Giving Vulnerable Young People the Best Chance in Life’ given it would do the exact opposite. I am calling, in particular on the Minister for Children Katherine Zappone to act immediately to remove the prospect of this threat being introduced in the time ahead.”