Written answers

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Social Welfare Benefits

Photo of Peadar TóibínPeadar Tóibín (Meath West, Aontú)
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114. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the amount spent on child benefit since 2017 by year ; the number of recipients of child benefit since 2017 by year; and the effect means testing child benefit would have on the amount allocated to child benefit and the number in receipt of child benefit in tabular form. [15141/22]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The table below shows Child Benefit expenditure and average recipient numbers for the years 2017 - 2021.

Year Expenditure €000 Average Recipient Numbers
2017 2,086,390 623,170
2018 2,096,671 626,240
2019 2,102,436 629,760
2020 2,102,328 635,110
2021 2,090,455 632,820

Child Benefit is a universal scheme which is paid in recognition of the fact that all parents with children incur expenses with children.

It is designed as a universal payment, in recognition of the costs involved in raising children, and plays an important role in tackling child poverty. As a universal payment it does not rely on a means test or social insurance contributions.

Any decision to introduce a means test for child benefit would be a matter for consideration by Government in the context of both overall budgetary and child income support policy. The impact of means testing on child benefit expenditure would depend on the specific design of any such means testing regime.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.


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