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Quinn 'has no clue' about size of cut to child benefit

EDUCATION Minister Ruairi Quinn (left) has conceded he "hasn't a clue" how much child benefit payments will be reduced by if the Government presses ahead with proposals to introduce a second free pre-school year.

He alarmed parents this week by raising the prospect of diverting part of the €2bn annual spend on child benefit to pay for the €200m cost of an additional pre-school year for three- to five-year-olds.

And yesterday he said he could not say what level of cuts would be needed to child benefit payments to implement the plan.

"No work was done, there are no proposals on the table. I'm simply raising the question," he said.

Mr Quinn was speaking after taking part in a pre-recorded 'Arts Tonight' programme at RTE. The programme will air on Monday at 10pm on RTE Radio 1.

Irish Independent