Finlay: Reform child benefit, but get it right this time
on 18/02/2013 14:45:46
It follows reports that the expert group has recommended taxing child benefit as the best way to make savings in the social welfare bill.
If the proposals in the Mangan report are adopted, up to 400,000 families could be hit with a tax of either 20& or 41% on the monthly payment.
CEO of Barnardos Fergus Finlay said: "I'm on record as saying I believe in reform of child benefit (so that it's received) where it's needed most.
"Minister Burton is right in saying that in other countries, particularly the Nordic states the solution to child poverty has been a balance of income and service supports.
"For Ireland to achieve similarly low child poverty rates, we need to make policy decisions that put children first and review our spending accordingly.
"If Government approach this debate from the simple view of saving money for the exchequer, we waste yet another opportunity to do things better for children. Too many children are suffering as a consequence of wasted opportunities to do better.
"We need to get it right this time."