Monday, June 9, 2014

Take child benefit off the Rich, then watch it taken off the rest!

Take Child Benefit off the Rich, then watch it taken off the rest!
Today 9/6/2014 a piece was published in the Irish Independent under the headline: ''Cut child benefit for the rich, Government told.’’

This suggested that the Government would have the support of two out of three of the electorate if they introduced a means test for child benefit. Is PACUB surprised?  No, because while reading the piece, which can be found here:  one line stood out: ''Means testing of child benefit is particularly strongly supported by people on low incomes.’’ 

Sadly, low income families, and maybe all families, including social welfare and middle income upwards, are under the belief that if we remove child benefit from the ''Rich”, then ours will be safe.  Unfortunately that is not the case.  The Ita Mangan report published in February 2013 stated that it was middle and low income families who would stand to lose the most, with lone parents being worst hit, if it was taxed or a two tiered system was introduced. 

So if we support means testing, we are cutting off our nose to spite our faces, as it will be OUR children who will lose out.  This is because there are not enough “Rich” people in receipt of child benefit to make enough savings.  So the cut off point will have to be MUCH lower, and this was shown in the Mangan report.  

We all know the impact of any cuts to child benefit, we know how it has become a major lifeline for many families in times of uncertainty, with increases in costs and taxes and reductions in income.  It is also important to remember that Child Benefit is an investment in our future tax payers as it is the only payment made to ALL children in Ireland. It shows that we treat all children equally, and this should remain so.  Children should not have to pay for the mistakes of adults. 

PACUB wrote about why the State should not means test or tax child benefit here 

Why all children should receive child benefit: here 

So please read, stop and think about the long term impact of allowing any more changes to child benefit. We need to say “no” and protect this investment in our children, before it is too late. 

Links to Ita Mangan report :

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Press release Stop the attack on child benefit

October 8 2013 _ PACUB - Protest against cuts to child benefit - is appealing to the government to protect child benefit ahead of the upcoming budget.  Over the last 4 budgets child benefit has been cut with larger families taking the biggest hit.

Our message to the government is
‘’Stop attacking children’’
Our children are worth it.
Child Benefit is not wasted money, it is an investment in our future. In Ireland’s future.

PACUB Spokesperson Niamh UiCheallaigh:  "We would urge the government to remember its duty to protect our most vulnerable, our children. So far cuts to child benefit have had a detrimental effect on families.  To put it simply, families are suffering, and many are going hungry.  They have nothing more to give, parents are struggling to put food on the table, after 4 savage budgets. Many are struggling to exist, never mind live. Our children should not have to live like this.  We believe that families have been, and still are being disproportionately targeted by the recent cutbacks.

"We are acutely aware there is a recession; we have taken hits on the tax front, higher levies, most of us have faced pay cuts – some of us have lost our jobs. We saw the complete withdrawal of the Early Childcare Supplement and cuts in child benefit during the past 4 budgets, all these combine to make it impossible to cope with any further reductions or changes to child benefit."

PACUB spokeperson, Jane Mooney: "We have seen many reports over the last few months, we know many children are going to school hungry. Many parents are going to be faced with the reality of choosing to heat the house, or put food on the table. With the high cost of living and cuts that have already taken place, we have seen reports where many parents are choosing cheaper unhealthy foods, not by choice, but because of necessity. We all know the consequences to unhealthy eating and can see this costing the government more in the long term with major health problems in the next few years. This is a reality across all of Ireland for parents, we would urge TDs to come out and speak to families in their local constituencies, see what it is really like outside the walls of Leinster House before voting any cuts to child benefit.  We would also urge parents to speak to their local TD and tell them how it really is."

PACUB spokesperson Hazel Haden says: "We have seen bigger families taking the brunt of cuts in recent budgets and fear it will be the same again this year. We know we have an ageing population and we need children to pay for the pensions of tomorrow, our government will put people off having children as it's too expensive to rear a family, and there are no tax incentives unlike in some other European countries.  We urge the government to maintain child benefit as it is, do not penalise families anymore."

If you would like to get involved in the PACUB campaign visit Facebook or the PACUB blog

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No more cuts to child benefit picture


Today we are asking every one to share this picture on facebook and twitter and to use it as your profile picture on till budget day in support of no more cuts to child benefit. please support and share far and wide

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mothers and children under attack again

Press release:

                      Mothers and children under attack again

PACUB, the group campaigning against cuts to child benefit, condemns news that the only support for children may be taxed, or a new two tier system introduced. Both options mean even more cuts, as families continue to feel the huge strain of the recession, and following budget 2013 that saw the fourth cut in a row to child benefit. Many families are left wondering again how they will cope.

"We are still reeling from this year's cuts, and already the Government is discussing publicly how they can take more money off families in the next Budget, it's unbelievable," says spokesperson Niamh Ui Cheallaigh. "Something has to give, so many families are struggling to make ends meet, and are already wondering how they will cope with a property tax, water charges, and whatever the government dreams up next. Families have dug as deep as they can and have no more to give. We say: please think before you act, there are huge consequences to either option, and we would urge the government to consider these before introducing either measure. Many mothers would find it unfeasible to continue working if they lost most/all of their child benefit, and we fear it would create poverty traps too. Could a fair system be introduced? PACUB doesn't think so. Both of these options do not take into account the outgoings or particular circumstances of each individual family, and it will hit young families particularly hard as they try to cope with the huge expense of bringing up young children."

PACUB looks forward to reading the report in full, and having an opportunity to provide input on the options under consideration, as they directly affect all our children.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Savage attack on children and families in 2013 budget

Today the Government made the biggest cut yet to the only payment to our children - child benefit, after slamming Fianna Fail for making cuts when in opposition.  Yet when they walked across the Dail how quickly they forgot! Now we have broken promises and another year of harsh austerity where many will now fall through the ice and drown in the mounting debts that engulf them.

Children will go hungry and cold, but apparently this is not the Government’s problem, they do not seem to care.  Today they have hit struggling families again; they claimed they made it fair, they claimed that they are protecting the vulnerable.  They lied.

"We are struggling to see where children have been protected," says Pacub Spokesperson Niamh Ui Cheallaigh.   "Do cuts to child benefit, increases in PRSI, cuts to the back to school allowance, cuts to medical card, the new property tax, the increase of student fees, the taxing of maternity benefit, do they protect children? We are being hit again from all angles, where will it end!!

"This Government has absolutely no measure of how bad things are on the ground. They are living in a fantasy world.  This budget is anti-family and anti-child.  So much for Labour promises to protect child benefit from any more cuts. We have been left reeling and struggling to see how we will make ends meet next year.

"We will now see our economy shrink further, we will see more families fall into poverty, more families lose their homes, more unable to keep working, more unable to provide the basics, food and heat.  Do our elected TD’s care?  It seems not!!  

"This is the worst budget yet for families and children.  Children have been savagely attacked again, and the Government chose to protect the wealthy and target children again.  They should hang their heads in shame."

Monday, November 26, 2012

Press Conference for Child Benefit

Date for your Diary

NWCI and PACUB will jointly host a Press Conference on the issue of child benefit on
                     November 30th at 10.30am in Buswells Hotel

 Children are NOT the cause of this recession but they are paying for it
NWCI and PACUB will make a joint appeal to Government to protect children

If you would like to attend please contact us on facebook search PACUB-Protest against child unfriendly budget 


Saturday, November 10, 2012

€2 billion on child benefit is an investment not a cost.

Important please note, you are welcome to share and use the information contained in this blog, but please acknowledge PACUB when you do so, Thank you.

€2 billion on child benefit is an investment not a cost.  

Could someone please tell 
Minister Joan Burton that child benefit is an INVESTMENT not a cost?

 Recently in the Dail she has been hinting at further cuts to child benefit, and the introduction of a two-tier system for child benefit, with higher payments for lower earners and those relying on social welfare payments.

She then explained how much child benefit cost €2bn annually!! I guess this is to cause aghast and outrage and gather support to obtain these cuts.  

I wonder has the government not considered the huge impact of cutting the only payment that is an investment in our future tax payers. How this will cost them in the long term….

Yesterday a report told how 10 per cent of Irish population are living in food povertyThis study shows that those most at risk of experiencing food poverty include those living on low incomes, families with young children, and one-parent families. What was interesting was that report author Caroline Carney said food poverty had fallen between 2005 and 2007, but the most recent data show it rising again after 2009.

Surely this has been partly caused by the elimination of the Early Childcare Supplement from Jan '10, the 10% cut to Irish child benefit in 2009, and further cuts in 2010 and 2011, with larger families taking the brunt of the cuts.  This shows how cutting child benefit has had a negative impact on children and their long term health and well-being.

We all know the dangers of not eating correctly, and food that is cheaper is often less healthy.  The occasional treat is now becoming a staple diet for many. In the longer term being unable to afford to eat well could lead to ill health and higher rates of chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity and certain cancers heart disease.
How much will this cost the state in future years?   If our children are eating badly now, they could be affected by these diseases at much younger ages.  What price will they pay in 20 years’ time? You are what you eat.

All the 'leaks' about possible cuts, followed by other TD’s saying ‘’no decisions made yet,‘’ is  having a very negative impact on our economy.  People are afraid, austerity is not working, and the longer the government continues to cut child benefit, the longer we will wait for a recovery, and it will increase the poverty bracket with more families falling into it each year.

We need children, Ireland needs babies and lots of them: yesterday David Quinn wrote a piece on why: ‘’ This is a disaster for the future of this country. It doesn't take a genius to work out that the bigger a financial burden you place on young people and young couples, the fewer children they will have.
And the fewer children they have, the fewer future taxpayers we will have. That spells national and social bankruptcy.’’
I agree strongly, we need to think very carefully about cutting child benefit again before it is too late. In future years we may not have enough tax payers to pay pensions, health care and may be TD’s wages and expenses.
Child benefit was a very progressive move when introduced and improved over the years.  Are we are now going to allow the government to cut again what has become a life line for many families across all societies in Ireland? 
On the  22 of October we see a report from the Irish League of Credit Union’s what’s Left? 1.3 million Adults have less than 50 euro to spend when essential bills are paid for each month.  This shows how so many are on a thin layer of ice that is getting thinner and thinner, we see the cost of living increasing , extra taxes ,cuts to child benefit. Reducing family’s disposable income further, which again see less spending in our economy keeping us stuck in recession.  With this continued path the government is on it will be a long time before Ireland sees prosperity again. 
All of these reports clearly show how families are struggling and need a helping hand. Before it is too late, Austerity is not working cutting the one reliable dependable payment for all children will see many fall though the ice damaging our economy further.
The government may save money short term, but this will cost them so much more in the long term, and if we see many choosing not to have any children  or les , we shall see this affecting the government  pensions in years to come, when you add emigration into the mix, continued cuts to child benefit = disaster. It does not take and expert in economics to understand the consequences of our governments intended path...

Remember Invest in a child invest in a Nation

If you are concerned about cuts to child benefit, get in touch with :
Also Organisers of the March which took place on 3rd of October :
Please also sign this petition