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Child benefit is 'staying as it is', regardless of what the IMF says

The Coalition is standing its ground.

THE TÁNAISTE AND Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton has moved to dampen fears that the system of child benefit will be altered, leaving some parents without the payment.

A report in today’s Irish Independent detailed the view of IMF mission chief Craig Beaumont, who said that ‘targeted’ cuts to social welfare payments need to be carried out.

Beaumont called child benefit ‘the most obvious target’.

Some parents could lose out on the payment, now worth €135 per month, if means-testing is introduced. Currently all parents are automatically entitled.

However, in a statement issued this evening, Burton said the payment isn’t going to be altered.

“Child Benefit will remain as a universal payment because of its crucial importance to mothers in particular, and I intend to increase it again in the Budget later this year,” the Tánaiste said.

National Dementia Strategies Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Burton noted that a €5 increase in child benefit, introduced in Budget 2015, kicked in this month, along with a range of other tax measures.

“The economic recovery this Government has delivered is not an end in itself; what is critical is that it enables us to also secure a social recovery, starting with raising living standards,” she added.

Read: How much were fraudulent Child Benefit claims costing the country? >

More: ‘There’s no way USC can be abolished overnight’ >

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