Barnardos Ireland calls for cut in child benefit
October 4th 2012
An Irish children’s charity has called for a cut in universal child benefit payments in order to redirect the money to the families in most need.
Barnardos Ireland chief executive, Fergus Finlay, said he believed the Republic of Ireland’s child benefit system needed to be reformed. He told the Irish state broadcaster RTE that the money “does not always go where it’s needed most”.
The charity said that one in nine Irish children “live in consistent poverty”. Non-means tested
In the Republic of Ireland, child benefit is paid to the parents or guardians of all children under 16 years of age, regardless of their household income. The payments continue until the young person turns 18, provided that they remain in full-time education.
At present, parents and guardians receive 140 euros (£112) per month for each of their first two children. If they have a third child they will receive an additional 148 euros (£118) per month. Irish families with four or more children will collect another 160 euros (£128) every month for each subsequent child.
Mr Finlay argued that the potential savings generated by a cut to the non-means tested payment could be used to help low-income families.
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