Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection and Social Equality, Willie O’Dea TD, has slammed suggestions that a two-tier child welfare system will be introduced and has called on Minister Joan Burton to clarify if she is considering adopting these proposals.
Deputy O’Dea was responding to a leaked internal advisory group report within the Department of Social Welfare which suggested a two-tier system for child benefit be introduced along with a €40 cut to the flat child welfare rate.
“I find it incredible that a Labour minister, whose election campaign was based largely on a pledge to fight any reduction in child benefit, would even consider such a proposal.
“A family with four children could see their payments cut by €160 a month, which could plunge already struggling families into more severe poverty. I don’t see the sense in this at all and again this Government seems intent on targeting the most vulnerable in society. I would also question the legality of such a move, you could have two families with similar income levels receiving vastly different rates of child benefit, if these proposals are adopted.
“I am calling in Minister Burton to immediately confirm her intention to reject these proposals. Families with children should not have to live with this threat hanging over them for the coming months.”