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Should Ireland pay child benefit for children living abroad?

Joan Burton has announced a review of rules allowing parents to claim benefits, even if their children live overseas.

Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive

SOCIAL PROTECTION MINISTER Joan Burton has announced her intention to seek a review of EU rules requiring Ireland to pay child benefit to parents who come here to work – even if their children still live abroad.

The announcement came as Department figures showed the state spent €15.4m last year on child benefit for children who don’t live in Ireland – because 7,814 children overseas have parents living in the Irish state.

So should Ireland – or, indeed, any EU state – be forced to pay child benefit to an immigrant parent who left their children behind? When foreign parents work in Ireland, shouldn’t they be entitled to claim the full benefits payable to an Irish worker?

Or is it unfair to expect Ireland to pay benefits to a parent when they have given up their role as a child’s guardian to live and work in Ireland?

Should Ireland pay child benefit to parents whose children don’t live here?


Poll Results:

No (944)
Yes (248)
I don't know (52)



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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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