Donegal Sinn Fein TD Pearse Doherty has announced that his party have published a Dáil Private Members’ Motion which would mandate the government to maintain current child benefit rates and other social welfare rates.
The motion will be debated in the Dáil next Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
Speaking today following the publication of the motion Deputy Doherty said: “The government is continuing to perpetuate the myth that they have no choices in this budget. The truth is that they do have choices and Sinn Féin’s pre-budget submission has shown that choices can be made that do not punish those already on social welfare.
“Cutting child benefit by €10 per week would save the state in the region of €150 million on this scheme. But as Sinn Féin has shown, the government has a whole host of alternative options available to choose from if they want to protect children.
“For example, a 48% third rate of tax on incomes in excess of €100,000 would raise €410 million and a wealth tax of 1% on assets worth more than €1 million, with some exclusions, would raise €800 million. It’s a question of political choice.
“Sinn Féin truly believes in cherishing all of the children of the nation equally. We don’t just pay lip service to it.
“Latest figures show that there are 96,000 children living in consistent poverty in this state with a further 205,000 at risk of poverty. Children are going to school hungry and without proper warm clothes.
“This motion is about protecting those children. It is about showing the government that they can choose the children of this state or they can choose unguaranteed bank bondholders.”
That the Dáil –
Notes recent research commissioned by the St. Vincent de Paul and Barnardos which found that 96,000 children are going without the essentials needed for an acceptable standard of living such as three meals a day, their own books for reading and taking part in clubs and activities;
Notes the Programme for Government promise to maintain social welfare rates;
Calls on the government to exempt children from shouldering the burden of recovery; and
Directs the government to maintain current levels of Child Benefit and other social welfare payments, in particular those impacting on children including adult social welfare payments and eligibility criteria, the Qualified Child Increase and Family Income Supplement.Tags: