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Government must stop preparations to cut child benefit – Ó Snodaigh

9 May, 2013 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Speaking following government proposals to divert money from the child benefit budget to fund a free pre-school year, Sinn Féin Social Protection Spokesperson, Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh, called on government to stop their preparations to cut child benefit.

The Dublin South Central TD said;

“The government have today proposed to cut child benefit by either means testing it or taxing it in order to provide a second free pre-school year.

“We are in favour of increased childcare services but it would be far more appropriate to fund childcare services like this through a third tax band of 48% over €100,000.

“This would return more to the Exchequer than any cut to or tax on child benefit as taking it from the Social Welfare Budget merely ensures that those who are poorest are hit hardest.

“This move will see unemployed women already hit by the recession, being targeted yet again, with Joan Burton taking a hatchet to an already fragile social welfare system.

“Child benefit as a payment to children in an attempt to cherish all children equally and this is not a move to help children – it is merely another convenient offence on the austerity front.

“The government have already raided child benefit twice and there has been no benefit to children, in fact things have gotten worse for many families.

“Social Protection Minister Burton has signed off budgets that continue the futile austerity programme year on year which make the vulnerable and the poor pay the price yet again.

“No concrete proposal has been made here and no costings have been done.

“This is the Government paving the way for cuts to child benefit in the next budget.

“Children and families deserve better than this.”

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