Government open to 'tweaking' separated parents' tax credits

Friday 25 October 2013 22.09
The option of restoring credits to each separated parent has been ruled out
The option of restoring credits to each separated parent has been ruled out

A spokesperson for the Department of Finance has said the Government is open to "tweaking" the controversial halving of tax credits for separated parents.

It is believed that ministers are discussing the possible reallocation of the credit to the non-principle carer of the couples' children.

But official sources say the Government is not going to restore the entitlement of each parent to a special tax credit.

Budget 2014 proposed the abolition of the long-established One Parent Family Tax Credit, which was available to both parents.

The benefit was worth €2,500.

It is being replaced with a Single Person Child Carer Tax Credit to which only the primary carer will be entitled.

The Government says despite the move, separated partners earning €40,000 with one child are almost €2,500 better off than the equivalent married or cohabiting couple. 

Fine Gael Senator Jim D'Arcy has called for the scrapping of the measure's "unintended discrimination" against separated fathers.

He said Minister for Finance Michael Noonan would welcome further discussion in the Finance Bill debate.

However, a spokesman for the Department of Finance has told RTÉ News that the option of restoring credits to each separated parent has been ruled out.