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Delays in childcare payments for EU migrant workers must be reduced - Crowe

16 October, 2006

Speaking this morning Sinn Féin Social and Family Affairs spokesperson Seán Crowe TD called for a reduction of delays of up to five months for child benefit and childcare supplements for EU migrant workers.

The Dublin South West TD said, "The eligibility for migrant workers to receive child benefit is enshrined in EU law. Although their children may be non-resident we must acknowledge the fact that migrant workers contribute greatly to our economy. Proponents arguing to stop such payments for workers are fuelling an underlying apartheid in the Irish workforce.

"It is fair that all workers meeting the criteria should be entitled to the child benefit and childcare supplement payments for their children. Migrant workers need to put food in their children's mouths and for their children to be cared for just as much as Irish workers do and therefore I support these payments, which make up just a fraction of overall expenditure on child benefit. I am calling on the government to ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and members of their families and to also extend the same tax and social benefits to the latter as are availed of by Irish nationals."

"According to government officials however it can take up to five months to receive replies from authorities such as those in Poland. This undoubtedly contributes to the delay in processing payments.

"I would urge greater co-operation between all stakeholders and authorities concerned to reduce the current considerably lengthy waiting time. "


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