Child benefit cuts proposed by expert group

Why does everything have to be so complicated in this country - why can’t we just tax it? … 67417.html

Interesting first line in that article: *Families will only qualify for the maximum child benefit payment **if they earn less than €25,000 *under a two-tier system set out in an expert group’s report to be published today. So does this tax only apply to people who actually *earn *their income i.e. get out of bed in the morning and do a day’s work, as opposed to the huge numbers who receive their income for doing nothing? If so, it’s the last thing the country needs - yet another reason for the long-term welfare classes not to take up a job.

Am I the only one thinking these limits are quite high?

Seeing as a lot of people have pointed to a one income family with 2 children needing 45k gross to bother working this will surely further rise what i call the “break even” point below which it’s not worth working

Will this be like FF’s commission on taxation? Politically unpalitable so shelved and/or tinkered with resulting in practically no savings being made

For me the big thing when means testing social welfare is savings. I know several unemployed people with huge chunks of cash from redundancy, an accident at work or selling a house. The cash is in the credit union

When asked for bank statements when being assessed they simply say “no credit union account guv” and that’s that. I’m not quite sure how in this day and age when you need your PPS number to open an account there isn’t a centralised database. Person assessing the person’s means presses a button and sees:

Name: Joe Bloggs
PPS number: 1234567A
Accounts held: AIB Current account, AIB savings Account, Credit Union Account

Statements from all 3 are then required for person to be means tested

From a political point of view, this is dynamite. Easy for FF and SF to make a big show of opposing. And for savings of up to €200? Hardly worth it - politically.

Your probably right and this is a lot of what is wrong in this country - things are done/not done for political reasons not the good of the country.

I’d imagine for that reason it won’t happen. It’s political suicide.

Blame lies fully at the feet of the electorate. The politicians and civil service know what the right thing to do is, but the voters are set against it. Public representation is the name of the game.

I agree with this. It’s just too easy to stay in bed and not look for a job, and this is further encouragement. As one of the latter group, who currently gets the dole, I find too easy. Genuinely. I’m looking for jobs all the time, but they are on decent wages so arguably it’s far higher motivation in my context. I have only signed on once. I brought down lots of printed emails to show I had arranged interviews. They had no interest. None. Didn’t care less. If I was near minimum wage, I would have a very different view to looking for a job. Why would I bother sitting in front of interviewers being effectively looked down on. Instead, enjoy fishing, time with the kids, and get fit. Having said all that I think benefits should be phased out slowly. There is nothing worse than things being pulled from beneath you, and being forced into a job you don’t like with little time to think about it. But there has to be some end to benefits

It’s the same everywhere to a large extent. Politicians need to get elected, and they’ll do what they need to get re-elected, not what’s good for the country.

In more mature countries, with more sophisticated electorates and better political systems, the politician may well get votes for doing the right thing, but not here.

I agree. Reform of child benefit and other welfare is needed but mothers and children marching through the streets is a nightmare for a government. Remember that an FG-led government fell in the 1980s partly because they tried to add VAT to children’s shoes. That would have cost families tens of pounds a year and raised a fairly insignificant sum in the grand scheme of things. Lesson (probably) learned.

€200m sounds like a lot but it could be wiped away by an overrun in the health budget. Maybe as part of a comprehensive reform package that could save a headline figure of a €1bn it could be worth it but would they really go for it in 2014/2015 with an election looming? It could be worth a go in the early stages of the next Dail if the debt issue has died down (ideally after some concessions from the EU’s permanent bailout fund on the recapitalisation of the banks).

For the moment, anything like this would be met with “Get a better debt deal first, then we’ll talk”. A government would need to be able to say “Look the debt issue is over. We got better terms for the prom notes and the burden of the bank bailout has been eased. Maybe not to everyone’s satisfaction, but it’s the best we can expect. That conversation is finished now. We’ve also cut public sector pay (not to everyone’s satisfaction) and increased taxes (not to everyone’s satisfaction) and we still have a deficit…which is why we’re cutting dole/children’s allowance.”

Yeah FB & NE, I noticed one of the speakers at Mondays rally in tallaght was going on about how the current government will feel their wrath come next election

I was thinking to myself wouldn’t it be great if the politicians thought ‘whatever, this needs to be done’

I’m afraid we can only dream of politicians with backbones.

or vision

Leo Bigmouth on Pat Kenny discussing this now.

just tax it - they taxed maternity benefit fairly easily

And bingo, pat is on his hobby horse…child benefit turns to ps pay cuts turns to debt write off for the little guy

Had a wry smile when I heard that allright.

Is there a person in RTE that one can write to and ask why Pat insists on turning every discussion towards giving free money to mortgage holders?