Wealthy people who do not want today’s double child benefit payment can give back it to the State, the Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys has said.
Today, around 639,000 families will receive a double payment of child benefit as part of a series of government measures to help tackle the cost of living crisis.
However, some have questioned the need to give the wealthy extra support and Minister Humphreys defended the initiative.
“There’s a lot of people who are going to receive this that need it,” she said.
“A lot of working families, a lot of middle income families; for people who decide themselves that they don’t want this money there’s no problem, they can give it back to the State and I can make details available if they wish to do so.
“But the majority of people that I’m meeting when I’m out and about talking to people - they need this payment.
“They’re saying to me that the cost of living has gone up, when you go into the supermarket, the money’s not going as far as it used to."
Child benefit is paid to all families regardless of income and Ms Humphreys said the Government did not want to means test it.
“This is a universal payment that we pay mainly to mothers across the country,” she added.
“It’s important that they get that and people will say to me... 'Why are you not targeting it?'
"If you did look at targeting a measure, then you'd have to have a cut off point and you'd have to decide who should get it and who shouldn't get it and once you get into the process, you're going to have winners and losers."
Main image: Minister Heather Humphreys speaks at a Budget 2022 press conference in October 2021. Picture by: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie