Friday 2 December 2016

Kevin Myers: Potty child-benefit policy has deepened the financial crisis for the State and families alike

Kevin Myers

Published 17/09/2010 | 05:00

Michael O'Leary is, I believe, the father of four children. If he'd been particularly skilled with his spermatozoa, or his darling wife had fallopian talents which could match Ryanair's immaculate schedules, and the four children had thus emerged as two sets of twins, the O'Learys would be now getting around €1,000 a month in child benefits, tax-free.

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Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I put it to you that this is, as the young O'Learys might say, just plain potty.

We have a potty benefits policy, which matches almost every other area of government enterprise, and which has deepened the financial crisis both for the State and for many thousands of families. Because our crazily generous hand-outs to all parents have encouraged people to commit themselves to debts that they would never have touched without them. Moreover, it is virtually impossible to have any sort of discussion about this without someone from the vast poverty industry weighing in with moralising accusations against the fiscally prudent of wanting to further impoverish the already poor.

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