No means test for child benefit – Cllr

Suggestions from the IMF to introduce means testing for child benefit and medical cards for over-70s is a major step in the wrong direction, says Cllr Andrew McGuinness.

Suggestions from the IMF to introduce means testing for child benefit and medical cards for over-70s is a major step in the wrong direction, says Cllr Andrew McGuinness.

“Means testing the payment is a blunt instrument and will end up taking the payment from the pockets of middle-income families who are relying on child benefit to maintain a basic quality of life for their children,” he said.

“It is a myth that only those on low incomes really ‘need’ the payment. Many average-income families that are tied into crippling mortgage repayments need all the help they can get. Depriving them of the child benefit is a step too far for these families who have already borne much of the pain in attempts to correct the national finances,” he said.

“There is a case to be made for ending the automatic entitlement to child benefit for those on very high incomes, but what Minister Joan Burton is considering right now is simply wrong,” he said.