Dublin West Bye-Election candidate David McGuinness has said the Government’s targeted attack on working mothers has resulted in €14m being taken from 26,700 mothers in 2013.

The figures have been released to Fianna Fáil by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.

Councillor McGuinness said: “This is a major blow to working women and young families.  I know many young families in Dublin 15 who are significantly out of pocket by the tax on maternity benefit.  The Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has confirmed to Fianna Fáil Finance spokesman Michael McGrath that “approximately 26,700 maternity benefit claimants paid tax on this benefit, yielding an estimated €14m” in 2013. (PQ reply received May 15th)

“It’s clear that the Government is going in the wrong direction when it comes to helping young families.  Fianna Fáil is strongly opposed to Fine Gael and Labour’s successive maternity cuts.  It is wrong to target young mothers in this way and it has caused huge concern among people I have met in Dublin West during this bye-election campaign.  In fact Fianna Fáil has produced a significant piece of legislation to allow parents to share maternity leave entitlements.

“The Paternity Leave Bill, published by Fianna Fáil Senator Mary White proposes to allow mothers of new born babies to share their maternity leave and benefits if both parents chose to do so.  This is a major milestone in the effort to achieve greater gender equality in the workplace. 

“Fianna Fáil believes new young families should be cherished and supported, not cynically targeted in a ministerial book-keeping exercise.  If I am elected to the Dáil in Dublin West on May 23rd I will fight to protect young families and new mothers from further cuts under Fine Gael and Labour.”