Sunday 23 April 2017

In backlash against austerity, targeting child benefit might be the least worst option

Brendan Howlin spoke of debates on cuts to child benefit
Brendan Howlin spoke of debates on cuts to child benefit

IF THEY got a chance to do things again – they would be different. There's a long list – but the "children's allowance", as it was known to generations, rates pretty highly on it.

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin said this quite frankly in a little-remembered interview with this newspaper late last year. Howlin is the one not contesting the Labour leadership and tipped to stay with his fellow moneybags, Michael Noonan, in charge of the national finances irrespective of who becomes the new party leader.

"We've had long debates about that, whether we should tax it, whether we should rebalance it, either you give a core payment and then a top-up payment to people below a threshold," he admitted at the time.

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