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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 13 August, 2020
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Child benefit is ‘subsidising people to have sex’ – Michael O’Leary

The Ryanair CEO said that he thinks child benefit should be abolished, calling it an “absurdity”.

It is unclear why the CEO of Ryanair was asked for his views on child benefit
It is unclear why the CEO of Ryanair was asked for his views on child benefit
Image: Julien Behal/PA

RYANAIR CEO MICHAEL O’Leary has said that he thinks child benefit is “subsidising people to have sex” and should be scrapped.

The airline boss said that the payment should be scrapped “for everybody”, acknowledging that his comments would probably get him into trouble with the women of Ireland.

Speaking at Knock Airport today, O’Leary suggested that benefits should target people on low incomes:  ”You need to channel children’s allowance to people on lower incomes through income support schemes and single parent allowances,” O’Leary told Shannonside Radio.

This broad band of just giving everybody children’s allowance, it’s like the government subsidising people to have sex.

“Borrowing money from Europeans to give rich people in Ireland – or even people on average incomes – children’s allowance is an absurdity. I’ll get pilloried by the women of Ireland but frankly you don’t need it, and they’ll still have children whether they’re getting children’s allowance or not”.

The outspoken airline boss was asked for his view on the issue amid reports that the government is considering a €10 cut to the universal benefit in next month’s Budget.

Earlier today Social Justice Ireland said that it would be fairer to increase income tax on all high-income households equally than to reduce child benefit, saying that there was “no justification” for any cut to the allowance.

Child benefit has already fallen as a percentage of the weekly disposable income for people in the bottom income decile, according to the organisation.

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