Minister Cullen ? Over 570,000 families and 1.1 million children set to gain from Child Benefit increases

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Martin Cullen TD, Minister for Social and Family Affairs today reminded families that increased Budget 2008 Child Benefit rates come into effect from today 1 April 2008. The new monthly rates are €166 per month in respect of the first two children and €203 per month in respect of third and subsequent children.

Minister Martin Cullen TD said: "The increases bring, for example, the monthly income from the benefit to €332 for a family with two children, increasing to €738 for those with four children, and to €1,550 for a family with eight children."

The Minister continued: "Over 570,000 families and approximately 1.1 million children will benefit from these increases in the Child Benefit payment, which form part of the overall €147.9 million welfare package of support for children announced in Budget 2008." Minister Cullen added: "Budget 2008 provided increases of 6% or above in overall child income support through a combination of Child Benefit, Qualified Child increases, Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance and the Early Childcare Supplement."

Child Benefit is payable in respect of children who are under 16 years of age, or between 16 and 19 years of age and who have a disability or who are in full-time education. Child Benefit is non-taxable and delivers a standard rate of payment in respect of all children in a family, regardless of income levels or employment status. Minister Cullen commented that the income support provided by the Child Benefit payment forms part of the €12.3 billion allocated by Government to Children's Programmes under the lifetime of the National Development Plan 2007-2013. This funding is being invested in childcare services, child protection and recreational facilities for children and educational help for children from disadvantaged communities and those with special needs.

Issued by:
Michelle Hoctor, 087 856 3070
Niamh Fitzgerald, 087 254 7232

Last modified:25/09/2008