The Report on Child and Family Income Support by the Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare was published yesterday and has caused considerable concern for parents across Ireland. The report, however, is an advisory report submitted to Government for consideration; Government has not agreed it. No decisions have been made on this and no timeline or plan on operationalisation has been put in place.
One Family will continue to advocate that Family Income Supplement (FIS) be changed from a ‘threshold’ benefit to one that tapers. Thresholds create poverty traps which are discriminatory and should be moved away from as part of a progressive social protection framework.
It was stated yesterday at the report launch that the computer systems of the Department of Social Protection and the Department of Revenue ‘talk to each other’ now and that they can identify 87% of claimants. This would make paying FIS as a taper and through the wage packet a good and efficient option.
Included in our pre-budget submission for 2012 was our recommendation to restructure Child Benefit to ensure that it is tailored to those most in need.
Below are links to some of the media coverage in response to the report:
The Irish Times | ‘No decision’ made on child benefit
Irish Examiner | Burton wants social welfare system that encourages people to work
The Irish Times | Prospect emerges of cutting child poverty while saving public funds