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Stark inequalities being introduced into Child Benefit system

5 October, 2010

Sinn Féin MLA and Poverty Spokesperson Daithí McKay has said that the British Government decision to cut child benefits in 2013 will have a greater impact on single parents and families with a stay at home parent than others. He said that the Tory party’s approach to cutting benefits will result in higher levels of poverty.

Mr McKay said

“This proposal from the British Government will leave you with a perverse situation where on the one hand a couple with one child who earn over £80,000 will qualify for Child Benefit yet a single mother or father with a large family and an income of just £44,000 will lose thousands of pounds in Child Benefit which they are now entitled to. This is a very crude proposal that has more to do with meeting targetted public spending savings than the best interests of children.

“This is in addition to the freezing of Child Benefit rates for the next three years and the fact that the British Government has not put forward any concrete proposals which will tackle child poverty.

“Further to that they are refusing to guarantee that the Winter Fuel Allowance will remain untouched. That is a major concern for us as the north has a high rate of older people in poverty, a rate which is continually rising.

“These proposals from the British Government will introduce stark inequalities into Child benefit distribution and will have a huge impact on single parent families and families with stay at home parents. Such an approach to welfare will inevitably lead to a rise in poverty and is something that this Assembly must oppose robustly.” ENDS

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