A video posted to the Labour Party website just days before the general election reveals a stark promise from Labour Leader Éamon Gilmore that his party would not allow any cut to child benefit under any circumstance
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection Barry Cowen TD has called on Tánaiste Éamon Gilmore, Deputy Joanna Tuffy and Senator Ivana Bacik who all appear in the video to clarify if this remains their position.
“The reports this weekend that Minister Joan Burton is to cut child benefit payments by at least €10 a month have come as a major shock and worry to families across the country,” said Deputy Cowen. “Just nine months ago, Labour could not have been clearer in their promises to them that a vote for their party was a vote to protect child benefit.
“On her own website, Minister Burton sets out her 12 steps to economic recovery. Step 7 is a promise to protect child benefit, stating that: “Our Children are our future. Families have been hit with repeated cuts in child benefit. Further cuts will be counter-productive, putting children at risk as families are forced to cut back on essentials.”
“In an RTE News video on the Labour website, Eamon Gilmore sets out his number one pre-condition to any coalition with Fine Gael: “The Labour Party will not agree to having child benefit cut anymore and Fine Gael need to drop their plans to cut child benefit”
“Where is the Labour Party on this issue now? Was the speculation at the weekend simply an attempt to ‘soften up’ the electorate for the budget? If so, it is shameful that the Labour Party would choose to play such a political trick on some of the state’s most vulnerable families. If the reports are accurate, this news represents the utter capitulation of the Labour Party on what it described as its ‘red line issue’.”