Raising child benefit won't tackle real poverty problems
ALWAYS expect the unexpected, the old advice runs. But what if the unexpected does not come? Always finding the expected is a very dull business.
Hence the pleasure - the unexpected pleasure - in hearing Fergus Finlay, chief executive of the children's charity Barnardo's, arguing against an increase in child benefit in this month's Budget.
Instead, he said, the annual €70 million which a €5 increase will cost could do more good for children if spent on services for them. It was all done in the most civilised fashion, which also makes a nice change, but the real point was that here was an argument that was neither crude nor obvious - and that is unexpected.