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Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

Wednesday, 18 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 559 No. 6

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 254. Mr. S. Power Information on Seán Power Zoom on Seán Power  asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs Information on Mary Coughlan Zoom on Mary Coughlan  the reason there is more child benefit paid for third and subsequent children than for first and second children. [26883/02]

Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan Zoom on Mary Coughlan Child benefit is a universal payment which is payable in respect of all children up to the age of 16 years and continues to be paid up to age 19 in the case of children who are still in full-time education and children with disabilities. To ensure that additional resources are targeted at larger families, who are at greater risk of poverty, a higher rate of child benefit is paid in respect of the third and subsequent qualified children.

In this regard, the Child Benefit Review Committee which was established by the then Minister for Social Welfare and which reported in 1995, having considered a number of alternatives including a single rate of payment for all children, a rate structure differentiated on age grounds, and payment of a higher rate for the first child, concluded that the current differential should be retained.

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