Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection, Willie O’Dea TD, says taxing Maternity Benefit is another example of the anti-women and anti-family budget the Government introduced last December.

From the start of July, mothers will have their Maternity Benefit taxed and may be forced to pay back as much as €2,700 per child to the Revenue Commissioners.

“This is nothing more than cutting Maternity Benefit through the back door,” said Deputy O’Dea.

“The Government plans to cut Maternity Benefit for 48,000 mothers in an underhanded manner by taxing it. This could have a devastating effect on mothers who are struggling to survive.

“The anti-family and anti-mother bias of this Government could plunge thousands of more families into poverty. These families have also had to deal with cuts to Child Benefit, the Back to School Allowance and the One Parent Family Payment; Maternity Benefit is not a luxury for mothers and they have been unfairly targeted here by the Government.

“Many mothers would have factored the tax break into their budgets for 2013, this along with the failure to progress child care provision places an unfair burden on families.

“The exorbitant childcare prices in this country means the Maternity Benefit is an essential payment for thousands of mothers and to have it cut by as much as €2,700 per child goes against everything the Labour Party is supposed to represent.”