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Child Benefit

Report on cutting child benefit being 'considered' by Burton

Fianna Fáil wants Social Protection Minister Joan Burton to honour a pre-election promise and say that child benefit will not be cut in the forthcoming budget.

THE DEPARTMENT OF Social Protection has said that a report which proposes a two-tier child benefit system where the basic rate per child would be €100 is being studied by the Minister for Social Protection.

The recommendation in a report, which was was obtained by RTÉ’s The Week in Politics, suggests that a two-tier system would see the basic rate cut from €140 each for the first two children to around €100 per child with top-up payments for low income families.

It is part of a report by the Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare on child and family income supports which the Department said today was being considered by Joan Burton.

The move would reportedly save €200 million annually but Fianna Fáil’s social protection spokesperson Willie O’Dea has called on Social Protection Minister Joan Burton to reject the idea ahead of December’s Budget.

He cited a pre-election promise by Labour to fight any Fine Gael cuts to child benefit, saying that he finds it “incredible” that a Labour minister would consider any such proposal.

O’Dea said: “A family with four children could see their payments cut by €160 a month, which could plunge already struggling families into more severe poverty.

“I don’t see the sense in this at all and again this Government seems intent on targeting the most vulnerable in society.

The Department said that it would not yet be publishing the report but will do so in due course.

A statement said: “The report of the Group’s examination of this issue is currently being considered by the Minister.  It is intended to publish this report in due course. The report is therefore not yet in the public domain.”

Poll: Should child benefit be cut?

Read: ‘Fantasy budget’ survey shows Irish adults want child benefit means tested

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