Tuesday 21 August 2018

Shane Ross: €1,000 'granny grant' is 'a novel idea'

Shane Ross
Shane Ross
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

SHANE Ross has dismissed criticism of his proposed ‘granny grant’ which would see a €1,000 payment given to grandparents who mind their grandchildren for ten hours a week.

Speaking today the minister said he hasn’t “seen any push back at all” over the proposals.

However, one Fine Gael minister told the Irish Independent that the proposal was a “mad proposal”, and Opposition parties have also hit out at the idea which they say does nothing to alleviate the high cost of childcare faced by parents.

However, Mr Ross defended the proposal as a “novel idea”.

“I haven’t seen any push back at all but what we’re pursuing this an idea, as a novel idea and we’re going to continue to push for this - an idea which I think recognises the role that grandparents play in childminding,” he said.

“It’s not something that I’ve noticed any big push back on at all.”

The Independent Alliance minister said the scheme could be adapted and said there were a lot of issues to thrash out.

Mr Ross also defended not having costed the idea after it was first tabled saying that he wanted it to be teased out in conjunction with the Department of Finance.

Mr Ross estimates that the grant would cost around €71m based on an estimation that there are around 70,000 grandparents who would be entitled to the grant.

However, senior officials in the department of Finance have suggested that the grant could cost “many hundreds of millions of euro” to introduce and administer.

Read more here: 'Granny grant' could cost State 'hundreds of millions of euro'

Comment: Grandparents should indeed be appreciated and their role recognised - but not by an empty gesture

'Granny grant' could be extended to other family members who provide childcare

Ross insists the €1,000 'Granny Grant' could be extended to other relatives 

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