BUDGET DID NOTHING FOR CHILDREN IN POVERTY

18 November 2016

Speaking on UN Universal Children’s Day, Labour Spokesperson on Social Protection Willie Penrose TD said,

“Over the last two weeks the Dáil has debated the Social Welfare Bill, which does nothing to address children living in poverty.”

“This Budget has failed to provide any increases to the six payments that help families with young children the most, and make a direct impact on children living in poverty.

“On Child Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance, the Qualified Child Increase, the Back to Work Family Dividend, Family Income Supplement, and the Back to School Clothing & Footwear Allowance this Government provided nothing extra.

“The Government has shown no vision for using our social welfare system to address child poverty. Social transfers are critical to solving this, but no extra resources were committed to helping parents on social welfare with children.

“There is no ambition in this year’s Budget package to address child poverty. There were choices to be made, and the Government, supported by Fianna Fáil made the wrong ones.

“The recent UNICEF report showed children are now the most neglected group in Irish society. There were many options that could have been considered by this Government to address child poverty.

“They managed to find money to increase nearly every payment and extend multiple benefits to the self-employed but on six key payments no change was made.

“The universal Child Benefit payment makes a major impact on poverty in Ireland. It goes to all parents and is simple to administer. Like all other child related payments in this Budget no increase was provided.

“I hope the Government will seek to rectify this oversight next year and provide a vision for addressing child poverty in Ireland.

ENDS

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