A Government TD has warned that child benefit is not a luxury, and any move to tax or means test it would be completely unacceptable in the upcoming Budget.
“Mothers need child benefit now more than ever,” Deputy Beverley Flynn said. “Child benefit is a critical part of family income at this time. It is the only payment which goes automatically to the mother of the family. It should not and cannot be interfered with in any way.”
Dep Flynn said child benefit must remain a universal payment and must not be subject to tax or means testing.
“Families at the present time are being hit by redundancies, reduced earnings, short time working, and loss of overtime,” she explained. “There is no opportunity to put a little aside for Christmas, for emergencies, or for those unplanned costs which crop up in every family when least prepared. Child benefit is critical to the cost of rearing children. It is often the difference between being able to afford the essentials and going on the breadline. To tax or means test it is simply not acceptable and would be completely unjust to families who are already struggling with reduced earnings and increasing costs,” Dep Flynn highlighted.