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Poll: Should wealthy parents be given the option to hand back child benefit?

Reports today suggest that wealthy parents may be given the option to return the €140 monthly payment. Good idea? Bad idea?

Image: Julien Behal/PA

A REPORT IN today’s Irish Times says Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton is considering a new measure in which wealthy parents would be able to hand back their monthly child benefit payment if they wish.

The €140 monthly payment is currently universal, which means it is not means-tested and it automatically offered to all parents. The payment costs the State around €2 billion a year.

The report cites an argument from some wealthy parents who have said that there is no way to opt out of the payment, whether it is needed or not. The plan by the Department  is something of a rebuke to the IMF who had suggested that child benefit should be means-tested – a proposal which was opposed by political parties and children’s charities.

So the question: Should wealthy parents be given the option to hand back child benefit?

Poll Results:

Yes (1141)
No (1055)
Don't know/not sure (358)

What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments

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