Hayes hints at means testing for child benefit

Hayes hints at means testing for child benefit

Junior Minister Brian Hayes has indicated this afternoon that the Government is exploring policy for means testing child benefit.

Mr Hayes' comments come following a wave of criticism in relation to the cutting of the allowance in Budget 2013.

Opposition parties said the cut is unfair arguing that it will affect those who can least afford the drop in financial support.

Labour Party chairman Colm Keaveney was expelled from the Labour parliamentary party after he voted against the measure in the Dáil on Thursday.

Minister Hayes said there was no way means testing could have been introduced before the current budget.

He said: "It's an administrative problem that cannot be fixed currently. Here is the point: every three months when our international friends come visit us to check our homework, before they give us a pass or a thumbs down, they ask the question 'Now, you said you were going to bring in this tax on VAT, have you for the first three months?'"

"It is not based on speeches, it is based on hard actual numbers, have we brought in what we said we're going to."


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