Over One Million Children To Benefit From Child benefit Increases Which Begin This Week


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More Than 340,000 Children In Welfare & Low Income Families Gaining By Over €30 A Month From Combined Allowances

The Minister for Social Affairs, Séamus Brennan T.D., announced today that more than one million children from half a million families will benefit from Child Benefit increases which come into effect from this week.

As a result of the new increases, Child Benefit rises to €160.00 a month for each of the first two children and €195.00 for the third and subsequent children.

Child Benefit is being increased by €10.00 a month for both the lower and higher rates of child benefit. It brings, for example, the monthly income from the benefit to €320 for a family with two children, increasing to €710 for those with four children, and to almost €1,500 for a family with eight children.

In the case of the 340,000 children of families on social welfare who have been receiving since January the single rate weekly Qualified Child Increase of €22, the rises in the QCI and Child Benefit combined will mean they are well over €30 a month better off from these supports alone.

Child Benefit payments have now increased over fourfold in the past ten years and are paid to more than one million children at a cost in 2007 of more than €2 billion. (County breakdown of figures detailed below)

Minister Brennan also released updated statistics detailing how the increases in welfare supports, including Child Benefit, Qualified Child Increase (formerly Child Dependence Allowance or CDA’s), Family Income Supplement and Back to School Allowance, in addition to the €1,000 a year Early Childcare Supplement, is boosting the incomes of families on welfare, jobseekers and low incomes.

These show, for example,

  • A Lone Parent earning €16,000 and with one child aged under six has gained by €1,347 to bring the annual income from welfare alone to €11,842. For a Lone Parent in similar circumstances, but earning €20,000, the gain is over €3,740.
  • For a Lone Parent with two children - one aged under 12 and one under six years - and earning €20,000 the income from welfare supports this year will be €13,564, a gain of €4,230.
  • For a couple with two children - one aged under six - formerly on Jobseekers Allowance but now with earnings of €10,400, the gain from supports is almost €4,700 and brings their income from welfare to over €20,000.
  • In the case of a single person with no earnings and on Jobseekers Allowance, their income from welfare is €10,483, an increase of €1,176. For a couple in similar circumstances, social welfare payments amount to over €17,000, a gain of over €1,880.
  • A Lone Parent with four children and with no earnings will have a total welfare income of almost €26,500, an increase of more than €2,500 on the 2006 payments.

Minister Brennan said: "With these new increases the Government has surpassed its commitment on child benefit. Honouring this commitment represents a significant contribution to the alleviation of child poverty and support for children generally. Child Benefit is a universal payment that supports all children in all circumstances. However, despite exceptionally high investment in welfare supports, the reality is that we still have unacceptable remaining levels of child poverty. It is not acceptable that in modern, 21st century Ireland there should still be children who must still endure poverty, deprivation and distress. That is why I am determined to finds ways of channelling additional and targeted resources directly to support these children and their families. The rise in the Qualified Child Increases for the first time in over a decade in the last Budget signalled a more selective approach to child income support by targeting more resources directly towards that one third of children who are mainly in Lone Parent families and other welfare and low income households".

"In recent years we have lifted more than 100,000 children out of poverty and now we must strive to complete the task. I have long held the view that implementing a second tier of targeted payment for children in low income and welfare families is the most effective method of tackling child poverty. I see the increased and improved Qualified Child Increase as representing a substantial move in that direction and that is why I deliberately took the decision to focus increased child supports in this area".

Minister Brennan also outlined updated details regarding the payment of the Early Childcare Supplement to all children aged six and under. "The payment is being made by my Department on an agency basis for the Office of the Minister for Children. The payment of €250 per child in respect of the quarter January to March will be made on April 10th this year, with further payments in July (for quarter April to June) and October (for quarter July to September) and December (for the last quarter of the year). No application is necessary for this support. The payment will issue automatically in the same way that the customer currently receives their Child Benefit."

Increases in Child Benefit will be paid to families who are paid by electronic methods on Tuesday, April 3rd. Families who are paid by book payment will get the increase for April and May in a voucher to be picked up at their local post office on the first Tuesday in May. Renewal books being issued in June will include the increase.

Details of Child Benefit increases from April 2007 are detailed below.

Number of Children

CB Old Rate

CB New Rate

CB Annual Increase

1 Child

150.00

160.00

120.00

2 Children

300.00

320.00

240.00

3 Children

485.00

515.00

360.00

4 Children

670.00

710.00

480.00

5 Children

855.00

905.00

600.00

6 Children

1,040.00

1100.00

720.00

7 Children

1,225.00

1295.00

840.00

8 Children

1,410.00

1490.00

960.00

County Breakdown

The following is the breakdown of the number of children and families benefiting from Child Benefit per county:

Counties

Families

Children

Carlow

7,822

14,704

Cavan

8,517

17,553

Clare

14,722

29,304

Cork

63,408

122,448

Donegal

19,838

40,078

Dublin

149,370

276,201

Galway

28,917

57,872

Kerry

17,559

34,202

Kildare

27,749

53,070

Kilkenny

10,826

21,428

Laois

8,629

17,171

Leitrim

3,678

7,452

Limerick

24,418

46,410

Longford

4,755

9,684

Louth

16,783

31,762

Mayo

15,555

32,022

Meath

23,249

45,061

Monaghan

7,394

14,847

Offaly

9,496

18,872

Roscommon

6,918

13,902

Sligo

7,688

15,217

Tipperary

20,468

39,968

Waterford

15,259

28,860

Westmeath

11,564

22,966

Wexford

19,141

36,808

Wicklow

18,589

34,924

ENDS

 


Last modified:23/09/2008
 

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