A Fine Gael councillor has defended comments in which he claimed paying child benefit to high earners is like a "subsidy for them to have sex".
South Dublin County Councillor David McManus believes the benefit should be means-tested and wealthy families shouldn't be getting it.
He initially made his comments on a podcast for the Tallaght Echo newspaper.
On today's Newstalk Breakfast, Councillor McManus - currently the deputy mayor of SDCC - said his comment about a "subsidy for them to have sex" was "evocative and a figure of speech" to emphasise his point.
He said: "It may cause offence, but that was not my intention.
“If I didn’t put it that way, we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion.
"But I believe it’s a valid point that welfare payments should be going to those who really, really need it.”
He stressed that he does believe child benefit is an "essential benefit" for low and middle-income families, due to the high costs of childcare and raising children.
However, he said "money is scarce, and it has to be targeted at those who really need it".
He said he particularly wants to see more money go towards disadvantaged schools.
He argued: “These comments are unpopular - I accept that. The reality is the books have to balance, and the bills have to be paid.
“There are two schools in my area… the two schools are next door to each other, but one is not getting the hot meals programme as the programme is oversubscribed.
“I want all DEIS schools to get the resources they need - but to be very, very straight about it, I don’t believe wealthy families should be getting child benefit.”
Child benefit is available to the parents or guardian of all children aged under 16 (extended to 18 if the children are in full-time education or training).
It is a universal payment - currently €140 a month for each child.