The children of squeezed middle income families already struggling to pay essential bills will be hit again if Government plans to tax Child Benefit are introduced, according to Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection Willie O’Dea TD.
Deputy O’Dea was reacting to the publication of the report of the Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare, which gives options to tax Child Benefit or introduce a two-tier system, which would provide a top-up for low-income families.
“These new proposals will cause great uncertainty and fear among the already squeezed middle income families. Families are being squeezed from all angles; there is no respite from banks on mortgage arrears; the property tax doesn’t take into account ability to pay and benefits across the board were cut at the budget.
“While there may be scope for high income families to make a greater contribution, the contribution should not be made by children. After two anti-family budgets from this Government, they need to take a new direction. Taking resources from children because they refuse to introduce a much fairer system based on income is unsustainable and must be resisted.
“If this Government has any interest in helping middle income families through this crisis and if they have any interest in fairness, they will quickly and clearly reject this proposal.”