Leahy urges government to 'substantially increase child benefit' for working mums and dads

Damian Moran

Reporter:

Damian Moran

Email:

damian@offalyexpress.ie

John Leahy

Renua leader and Offaly County Councillor John Leahy

The state must substantially increase child benefit for working mums and dads if it is to live up to its claim that it supports families.

That's according to Renua Ireland Leader and Offaly Count Councillor John Leahy who stated that the conscious decision of the state not to increase child benefit in the last two budgets was 'a disgrace and a matter of grave concern'.

"It is time we challenge the self-interested lie that child benefit is used for stilettos and holidays," he added. "These are urban myths generated by ideologues who are hostile to working families and who wish to transfer child benefit to their own projects."

Cllr Leahy said RENUA Ireland know that many working families, child benefit is the sole disposable income they possess.

He continued, "Often it is scooped up immediately by state agencies themselves such as schools, via school books and uniforms, or unexpected bills like property tax."

He further stated that child benefit also plays a key role in paying for the 'stealth tax' that is child-care.

"Despite its social necessity, RENUA Ireland are gravely concerned that a Fine Gael government, that increasingly resembles the Labour party in disguise, is planning to abolish child benefit by stealth. This is the only explanation we have for the sneaky way this critical state payment has not been increased for two years in a row.

"Help working Irish families cope and increase it this year,’’ the Renua Ireland Leader concluded.