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Child Benefit Crucial for Parents

22 February, 2007


Sinn Féin Newry Armagh Assembly election candidate Mickey Brady has called for a rebalance of the current structure of child benefit to increase payments for larger families.

Mr Brady said:

" Child benefit remains one of the most equitable and efficient ways of reflecting additional costs and responsibilities faced by all parents. Last August 2006 marked the sixtieth anniversary of 'family allowances' - the predecessor of child benefit. However, child benefit has faced a range of difficulties with increases from 1979, which have favoured families with less than three children. There is growing support for rebalancing the structure of child benefit towards larger families.

"The current structure of child benefit gives proportionately more to one-child families, which is unusual internationally. Children in larger families face higher risks of poverty.

Mr Brady concluded:

" Sinn Fein will remind the British Government of its goal of halving child poverty by 2010. There is a need to introduce a higher rate for second and subsequent children, and specifically for more help for families with three or more children. Such an increase would help to tackle poverty in larger families, but also help to encourage 'second earners' in couples with children into employment." ENDS

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