Minister confirms child benefit will not be linked to school attendance

Concerns were expressed after a proposal was put forward

Child benefit, school attendance, Programme for Government, Leo Varadkar,

Leo Varadkar at an event to mark An Bord Pleanalas granting planning permission for the new National Children's Hospital | Image:

The Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar says he sees no reason to link the payment of child benefit for under 16-year-olds to attendance at school.

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

It followed a proposal put forward by Independent TD Denis Naughten to the Government that would link the welfare payments to absenteeism at school.

But answering questions in the Dáil this afternoon, Mr Varadkar says he does not believe it would do anything to ensure children attend school.