2 October 2012
Child Benefit U-turn by Minister Joan Burton as families fear cuts
Joan Burton: ‘Child Benefit is often the lifeline which helps keep food on the table and the house warm. For parents with a large mortgage and high childcare costs, any further cut in Child Benefit would be a genuine crisis’
THE Fine Gael/Labour Government looks set to press ahead with major cuts to Child Benefit in December’s Budget. The move is being opposed by Sinn Féin, which says a third income tax rate of 48% on income over and above €100,000 would be fairer and bring in more money than messing with Child Benefit.
An advisory group set up by Labour Party Social Protection Minister Joan Burton (pictured right) has recommended a massive €40 cut, bringing the benefit down to €100 per month. Burton is also reported to be in favour of the introduction of a two-tier system which would see cuts across the board for 1.1million children with poorer families who rely on Child Benefit then being required to apply for ‘top-ups’.
The Government seems to have just swallowed the most recent IMF report on Ireland which said Child Benefit and other universal supports were “difficult to justify under present budgetary circumstances”.
During their 2011 general election campaign, the Labour Party used the slogan “Protect Child Benefit – Vote Labour” and stated its opposition to Fine Gael’s plans to cut Child Benefit by €252 per year for the average family, just over half of what is now being proposed by Labour themselves.
Minister Burton was particularly vocal on the subject, saying:
“Child Benefit is often the lifeline which helps keep food on the table and the house warm. For parents with a large mortgage and high childcare costs, any further cut in Child Benefit would be a genuine crisis.”
Sinn Féin Social Protection spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh has said his party will oppose any attempt to cut Child Benefit payments. Deputy Ó Snodaigh said if the Government wants to target high-earners in the Budget then the way to do that is to through taxation.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
“The cut is not necessary. The books can be balanced without it. If the Government wants to target high-earners in the Budget then it should go after their income. This would also be more beneficial for the economy.
“Sinn Féin has proposed a third income tax rate of 48% on income over and above €100,000, bringing in €365million. The return on the proposed cut in Child Benefit would return only €200million.”
An initiative for dialogue
— — — — — — —
Contributions from key figures in the churches, academia and wider civic society as well as senior republican figures
Ireland's revolutionary history now online
An Phoblacht is making all the editions of The Irish Volunteer – the newspaper of the Irish Volunteer movement – available online exactly 100 years after they were first published
This historic paper was first published in February 1914 and up till just days before the Easter Rising.
The official newspaper of the Irish Volunteers outlining the political views of the leadership with reports on all the important events. Also political opinions and news reports, plus fascinating advertisements for such items as revolvers, bandoliers and military uniforms from stockists across Ireland.
Read these fascinating insights into Irish revolutionary history with an online subscription to An Phoblacht for just €10 per year.
Premium Online Service For Only €10 Per Year
For less than €1 a month, you get An Phoblacht’s Premium Online Service. Sign up today!
- Full access to all An Phoblacht articles
- Interactive online PDF Booklet of each edition
- Access to our historic Archives
- Discounts for the Online Sinn Féin Shop