A new scheme to benefit wives who stay at home is essentially a tax credit transfer between spouses.

The payment of £9.60 to full-time housewives operates like a tax credit. Minister for Finance John Bruton estimates it will cost £24 million in the first year. The cost mainly relates to the introduction of a new Family Income Supplement.

She'll be taking her share of allowances that her husband previously obtained on her behalf. It's merely giving to her something that in our view she has always been entitled to.

John Bruton says that wives of farmers who are in the tax net will also be entitled to claim the benefit. All people who have a family income that is greater than £2,000 a year will be entitled to the payment. The payment is not automatic and must be applied for by submitting the appropriate documentation.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 15 November 1981. The reporter is Seán Duignan.