Thursday 18 December 2014

Confusion over changes to maternity benefit

Published 25/07/2014 | 02:30

There is confusion surrounding maternity benefit
There is confusion surrounding maternity benefit

A NEW survey shows widespread confusion among mothers about cuts to maternity benefit.

Cuts that came into effect recently have seen some mothers lose €800 in the payments.

And employers are topping up pay when mums have a baby, the Recruit Ireland survey shows.

An online poll conducted by the recruitment agency found that 44pc of mums did not understand recent changes to maternity benefit.

Last summer there was huge controversy when Finance Minister Michael Noonan decided to tax maternity benefit.

Taxing maternity benefit is now costing some working mothers up to €2,700 in new tax payments.

And in the last Budget the top rate of maternity benefit was reduced, a move that saw large numbers of mothers losing €832 in payments.

Maternity benefit is one of the measures funded from PRSI (pay related social insurance).

The higher rate has been reduced from €262 to €230 a week with the changes due to take effect from January.

Over the full 26 weeks those due to get the higher rate will lose €832 in payments.

Now the Recruit Ireland survey found that most employers are topping up maternity payments.

The majority of parents said they would like to see a tax credit for childcare introduced in the next Budget.

Irish Independent

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