Written answers

Friday, 7 September 2018

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Child Benefit Eligibility

Photo of Niamh SmythNiamh Smyth (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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1289. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a matter raised by an association (details supplied) will be examined; her views on the plan to disallow some parents this right; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [36460/18]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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Child Benefit is a universal payment to help families with the cost of raising children and plays an important role in tackling child poverty. It provides assistance to households with children in recognition of the higher costs incurred in child-raising and child care in a way which allows choice to parents in how this is undertaken. It does not rely on a means test or social insurance contributions.

Child Benefit is a monthly payment made to families with children in respect of all qualified children up to the age of 16 years. The payment continues to be paid in respect of children up to their 18th birthday who are in full-time education, or who have a disability. It is currently paid to around 629,000 families in respect of almost 1.2 million children, with an estimated expenditure of over €2 billion in 2018.

As Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, I support the universality of the Child Benefit payment, and the principle that all families with children should receive this income support. I do not intend introducing a means-test for Child Benefit. Means testing Child Benefit is not provided for in the Programme for Government, and is not being considered by Government.


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