Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection, Willie O’Dea TD, has called on the Minister for Social Protection to be clear on the future of Child Benefit.

Deputy O’Dea was speaking after questioning Minister Joan Burton today on her plans for child benefit in the upcoming budget.

“Here we are, three weeks out from the budget and the Minister speaks in riddles about the future of Child Benefit ,” commented Deputy O’Dea. “Thousands of families throughout the county are genuinely terrified about the impact of the upcoming budget on their quality of life.  They want some sense of certainty.

“I asked the Minister today directly whether the payment will be cut at the budget but she refused to answer me, instead telling me the decision has no yet been made, while congratulating herself on the investment the Government has made to date.

“No one believes that such a vital component of the budget has not been decided upon. We have seen leak after leak over recent months revealing that different elements of the social welfare budget are under review. This incessant kite-flying has caused mass confusion and worry throughout the country.

“It is now time for the Minister to stop the spin and make an up-front statement on this matter. Families need to prepare themselves for what is coming and the endless speculation and leaks can only be stopped by the Minister being clear – will cuts to child benefit be part of the equation in December or not?”