McAuliffe calls for child benefit to be extended to those up to the age of 19 in full time education
Published on: 04 July 2023
Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Social Protection Paul McAuliffe has called for child benefit to be paid to those up to the age of 19, in full time education, in a bid to help families.
The Dublin North West TD said the social welfare payment needs to be altered to reflect that most families have children, who are in full-time education, until the age of 19.
Speaking ahead of a Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party pre budget meeting Deputy McAuliffe also called on his colleagues in Government to increase the Household Benefits Package which he said would go a long way in more fairly addressing the rising costs of energy that we are continuing to experience.
He said, "Fianna Fáil priorities in the Budget will be to deliver a progressive and fair budget focused on delivering improvements for households at all income levels, especially low and middle earners.
"Our careful management of the public finances gives us the resources to help people and families with cost-of-living pressure. There will be a significant increase for people on fixed incomes including pensioners, carers and people living with a disability and a balanced taxation package will help people at all income levels.
“I will be suggesting to my Party colleagues tomorrow that child benefit should be extended up to the age of 19 for all those in full time education. Given that most teenagers don’t finish the Leaving Cert until at least 18 years of age, if not 19, it’s important that their families continue to receive the payment while their teenagers are still studying.
"An increase in the age would ensure that many households across the country will benefit from additional support to help with the increased cost of living and for many working families this is the only social welfare payment they receive from the State which they rely on to help pay for essentials.
"Over the last number of months, we have seen the positive impact of the Government’s Budget 2023 and Spring Cost-of-Living measures through increases to the fuel allowance payment, the living alone allowance, the State pension payments and electricity credits. I am of the view that such support needs to be further bolstered this year in Budget 2024 through an increase in the monthly payment of the Household Benefits Package and a similar lump sum payment at the beginning of the winter.
"The Household Benefits Package has not been increased in 10 years despite the continued rising cost of energy and I believe that the Government needs to do more to shoulder the costs of these hikes. An increase in the Household Benefits Package could provide a more universal assistance rather than making further changes to the fuel allowance payment again this year.''-ENDS-
Deputy McAuliffe concluded by saying, “Fianna Fáil has always been committed to helping those that need it most and we keenly understand the financial pressures felt by many right now. As a party we will not be found wanting when it comes to helping to alleviate this burden, while constantly looking for further ways to improve the lives of the people of Ireland.”
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