€330m in children’s allowance goes to households earning more than €100,000 a year
Child benefit could soon be cut for households with annual incomes over €100,000.
The Social Protection Minister has indicated that she is prepared to consider reducing payments for higher earners in an effort to pay for childcare for all.
The Irish Independent reports that Minister Regina Doherty made the comments while appearing on a social affairs panel last week.
When it was put to her that €330m in children’s allowance goes to households earning more than €100,000 a year, Minister Doherty said that, if it proves impossible to offer good quality childcare as well as a universal child benefit system, “we need to weigh that.”
Trade unions have traditionally opposed calls to move away from the universal system of child benefit.
However SIPTU chief economist Marie Sherlock reportedly told the same panel that the current system needs to be looked at.
On The Pat Kenny Show this morning however, SIPTU's Michael Taft warned that the proposed income threshold is too low.
“The average income for a full time employee is nearly €45,000 so you are not really going after high income households – you are actually going after, pretty much, average income, or just slightly above,” he said.
“So that would not seem very equitable.”