Targeting child benefit is not the answer

DISCUSSIONS on means testing child benefit brings me back to much tougher economic times when we in the Labour Women’s National Council advised Brendan Corish, then Minister for Health, that while a family might appear well-off, in cases of alcoholism, gambling or violence in the home one could not know if the mother actually had access to the family income.

It’s for these reasons child benefit has never been targeted and means testing is costly to administer anyway.

A much more effective way to deal with this issue is to leave child benefit alone and tax those high income earners that Sean Fitzpatrick of Anglo Irish Bank refers to. In this way we can try and protect our children.

Cllr Mary Freehill

Grove Road

Rathmines

Dublin 6

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