Social Justice Ireland criticises proposal to cut child benefit

Monday 01 October 2012 23.15
Seán Healy said cuts would be anti-children and anti-family
Seán Healy said cuts would be anti-children and anti-family

An anti-poverty campaign group has criticised recommendations to cut child benefit payments.

Director of Social Justice Ireland Seán Healy said such reductions would be unjust, unfair and unnecessary.

He also said a cut would be anti-child and anti-family.

The proposals to cut the payments were made by an advisory group set up by Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton.

The group said that child benefit payments could be cut to around €100 per child each month.

The report says this proposal could save up to €200m a year.

Currently, child benefit is paid at €140 per child for the first two children; the third child receives €148, while €160 is paid for the fourth and subsequent children.

Today, Social Justice Ireland put forward its alternative to budget 2013.

It proposes no changes to social welfare rates or to child benefit.

Fr Healy said the current approach by the Government to resolve the economic crisis is not working.

SJI is calling for the Government to extend the universal social charge of 3% to all incomes over €100,000, and to introduce a levy of 2.5% on all corporate profits in 2013.

It also is calling for the Household Charge to be scrapped and replaced with a site value tax.

It says a tax of one third of one cent on each mobile phone text message should be introduced.

The group estimates this would provide an additional €40m in revenue in 2013.

It also recommends a "bad nutrition" tax on the main components of junk food.

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