Child Benefit cut is stealth tax on children

MEDIA RELEASE: 22 November 2011

One Family, Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families, say that any reduction in Child Benefit would be a blow to all middle-earner families, but for some families, in particular those parenting alone, it would be a further step towards living in consistent poverty.

‘Children don’t have the broadest shoulders in our society, so this disastrous idea needs to be replaced by a policy targeted at those who do,’ says Stuart Duffin, One Family Welfare to Work Manager, ‘We have to look at why Child Benefit exists in the first place. It is an essential part of the income of most one-parent families. It allows parents to do what are considered quite basic things by a lot of people – such as buying healthy food options and affording items such as story books and educational toys which help with their children’s development.’

He goes on to point out that ideally, the wealthiest households should carry the greater tax burden in our society, but that this will not be the outcome if Child Benefit is cut. ‘It would be far better to increase taxes on higher earners. It would save the Government just as much and make the millionaires, not those parenting alone and the middle-earners, contribute most.’

Karen Kiernan, One Family Director, adds, ‘The real issue is how much society is prepared to give to parents on low incomes to support their children in total. Government reforms to benefits and tax have major impacts on child poverty and on families’ living standards more generally. We need to encourage debate about the correct level of support for children in the prevailing economic situation and the aim to abolish child poverty within a generation.’

 For further information please contact Karen Kiernan, Director, One Family 086 850 9191  or Stuart Duffin Welfare to Work Manager, One Family 087 0622023