Varadkar: Linking child benefit to truancy would not help school attendence

Varadkar: Linking child benefit to truancy would not help school attendence

Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar has said that he sees no reason to link the payment of child-benefit for under-16s to attendance at schools.

Concerns have been expressed after the Programme for Government seemed to suggest that the minority Government may bring in new laws in this area.

It stated: "We will reform the monitoring of child benefit payments by amalgamating the two existing

school attendance monitoring systems, currently run by the Department of Education and

Tusla, to address poor attendance within some families."

However, answering questions in the Dáil this afternoon, Minister Leo Varadkar said that he does not believe it would do anything to ensure children attend school.

"I had some discussions last week with the Minister for Children, and the Minister for Education," he said.

"The common view that we have as three Ministers is that those who are involved in education welfare and involved in monitoring truancy do not believe that giving them a further tool in which to enforce good attendance by withholding child benefit … would be useful."


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