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Budget 2012

Child benefit cuts will target families with three or more children only

The cut will not apply to all child benefit payments – only those for third and subsequent children, according to reports today.

THE EXPECTED CUTS to child benefit in the coming Budget have reportedly been revised, meaning that only those families with three or more children will see a reduction in payments.

The Sunday Business Post reports that Labour and Fine Gael ministers succeeded in reaching a compromise on the issue, rejecting the plan to impose a general cut.

Meawhile, the Government has been told by an ‘inter-departmental’ committee how it could means-test child benefit, reports the Sunday Independent. The committee, established over three years ago buy former Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, has outlined a number of ways that families could be means-tested – including the test being carried out by the Revenue Commissioners supplying the Department of Social Protection with the latest income figures.

However, welfare benefits in general will still see dramatic cuts: the €200 back-to-school clothing and footwear allowance will be scrapped for two and three-year-olds, and the age limit for a child eligible under the one parent family allowance will also be dropped, in stages, from 14 years to seven years.

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