Paschal Donohoe has ruled out means testing child benefit in this year’s budget.
Currently, child benefit is paid to all parents of children aged 17 or under.
A recent report by the ERSI suggested topping up the payments of those on lower incomes.
It estimates if the Government committed €700 million to such a policy, it could lift 40,000 children out of poverty.
Speaking to The Hard Shoulder, the Minister for Public Expenditure said the Government planned on keeping the benefit completely universal.
“We’ve other payments available in our social welfare system that are means tested,” he said.
“We’ve the Qualified Child Payment that’s available to families who are at risk of poverty and need additional support.
“So, there are means tested payments available - but we certainly would not consider changing what is a universal payment at the moment.”
In 2010, the British Government announced it would no longer pay child benefit to higher-rate taxpayers as part of a package of austerity measures.
Then-Prime Minister David Cameron said it was "quite difficult" to justify giving social welfare payments to rich people - an argument Minister Donohoe does not agree with.
“Lots of your listeners pay a lot of taxes during their working lives and when they’re in the very expensive part of bringing up young children, it’s an important recognition of that by the State,” he said.
“We’re not going to change it and we’re not going to give any indication that we are.”
Parents receive €140 per child every month and for twins it is paid at one and a half times the standard rate.
In June, the State gave parents a one-off €100 payment to help mitigate the cost of living crisis.
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Main image: Paschal Donohoe and Michael McGrath. Image Tom Douglas/Newstalk