Fine Gael Proposal on Child Benefit

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fine Gael will introduce a new “Child Income Support” payment with universal and targeted components. All families will continue to receive a universal payment and those on social welfare or low income will receive an additional targeted payment.
Fine Gael rejects plans to tax or means test Child Benefit:

* If you means test Child Benefit, all families above a certain threshold will lose Child Benefit altogether
* If you tax Child Benefit, families could lose more than half of the payment

Under the Fine Gael Plan, we will:

* maintain the universal payment so that all families continue to receive support with the cost of child-raising
* protect the 300,000 children at greatest risk of poverty from any reduction in child income support
* set up an Expert Group on Child Poverty and Protection to examine how to reprioritise all child income support payments* to protect the most vulnerable children while maintaining a universal benefit for all families

There will be no reduction in Child Benefit in 2012

*Child Income Support Payments include Child Benefit, the Qualified Child Increase that is paid along with social welfare payments and the child related component of the Family Income Supplement.

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