Two-tier child benefit proposed

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton brought the expert report before Cabinet yesterday.

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton brought the expert report before Cabinet yesterday.

Wed, Feb 20, 2013, 00:00

Better-off people will lose and some lower-income families will gain if an expert group’s report on child benefit is implemented, according to the group's chairwoman Ita Mangan.

The first report of the advisory group on tax and social welfare was brought to Cabinet by Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton yesterday.

Ms Mangan gave a detailed technical briefing on the report to journalists and lobby groups this morning. “There is no point in suggesting there won’t be losses for some people in this change. There will. Better off people will lose. Some lower income families will gain…Some lower income families will also lose,” Ms Mangan said.

The report outlines a possible new two-tier system of child benefit, under which families will only qualify for the maximum payment if they earn less than €25,000.

A reduced standard rate of about €110 a month would be paid for each child, down €20 from the current €130. The largest possible weekly “top-up” is €38, but the supplement would be cut as income increases beyond €25,000.

Parents would have to apply for the “top-up” online where they would be required to make a full declaration of household income.

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