I have being asked to blog supporting the march against Cuts for the Child Benefit. In case you haven’t heard yet, the Government might cut Child Benefit from €140 to €100 per child.
Before I go on about other related stuff, my opinion is that it is wrong to cut Child Benefit to ALL families regardless of their income. My blood boils when I think about this, because I cannot understand for the life of me why the heck it is not MEANS TESTED
MEANS TESTED BENEFITS is the only fair way to do things! WHY are they NOT doing this????
Why are they going to cut the child benefit regardless of the family situation? Cuts for all! It doesn’t matter if you are a single working mother earning 30k or less per year or a couple earning excess 70k per year. It doesn’t make any sense!
(Sorry, I told you my blood boils)
Apart from the means tested detail, It is wrong to cut child benefit to all families, essentially, because the top cats are still living the life of kings, bondholders are still getting their money back and all the money we are saving in tax, cuts and increase VAT is going towards banks, bankers, politicians and nothing towards making this country a better place to live in. This is why is WRONG. They didn’t invest sht in public services during the Celtic Tiger and you can be sure, they won’t invest now for a long, long time. So we have to put up with the horrendous health service, crap roads, crap public transportation, overflowing bins full of more crap because they can’t afford to pay someone to empty them, crap playgrounds for kids, shortage of midwives, shortage of beds in hospitals, shortage of special needs assistants and no adequate equipment to treat sick children, I mean that is top of the pops. You need to know no more.
Today, this post has been published by http://pacub.blogspot.ie/ (who is the one behind the march against Child Benefit cuts which takes place on Saturday the 3rd of November) talking about why means-testing is not a good idea. I SO don’t agree with it. People seem to be scared of thinking about putting a threshold on family income to decide who gets the benefit and who doesn’t. Let me do it for you. What about at least 100k per year per family? Im sure there are still plenty.
If the base of your argument is that all children are equal, so they all deserve the benefit, well, let me tell you, no child is equal because their life will be completely different depending on their parent’s situation. A well off family will have no problem covering the costs of raising their children. It is their responsibility to do so. They shouldn’t need money from the estate for this.
Many people seem to think the benefit is actually not enough. I made some calculations (Please be free to tell me if I made a mistake!)
During 2008 and 2009, child benefit was between €160/€166 per month. That is nearly 2000€ per year per child.
The Early Childcare allowance (payable until 6 years old was a total of 1000€ per month PER CHILD, paid 3 times a year)
So that equals a total of nearly €3000 Per year, PER CHILD. A fecking fortune. I couldn’t believe it.
The Early Childcare Allowance stopped at the end of 2009. Child Benefit has been cut during those years and now it stands at €140.
“In 2012 Child Benefit is €140 per month for each of the first two children. From 1 Jaunary 2012 the rate for the third child is €148 and for the 4th and each subsequent child is €160.
Additional monthly payment for twins and triplets will continue but the grant of €635 paid at birth, at 4 years of age and at 12 years of age for these multiple births has ceased from 1 January 2012. “ Source
€140 per month is €1680 per year.
2 kids = €3360 per year
3 Kids = €5136
4 kids = €7056
Holy Moly. That is a crazy amount of money.
Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not in favour of cutting the benefit, and I know many, many families are struggling (Heck, I’m struggling. I work full time but my partner is unemployed. We don’t have a mortgage and we don’t have debts. We only have one child. I would like to have another child, but you know what, right now I can’t because of my economic situation, and we have to suck it up. I think people have to start taking some responsibility of what they do with their lives….), but I am completely AGAINST universal benefits. It is just wrong.
I thought it would be interesting to look at the child benefit from the angle of a Spaniard living here (As I am Spanish living in Ireland).
I decided to ask some Spanish friends who have been living or are still living in Ireland, and had children here and in Spain and see what they think about this subject, and what country they think is cheaper to raise a child.
In general they are all delighted to live in Ireland and receive the child benefit. Basically, nowadays, in Spain you get nothing. Spanish women think basic needs such as clothes, infant formula, baby bottles and nappies are cheaper over here. (Penneys, Dunnes yaiii!)
Primary School Education is more expensive in Spain because parents pay about €300 for books! And they must pay minimum €120 for the canteen (if the child eats at the school. Remember, children in Spain stay in school until about 5pm every day with 2 hours break for lunch time)
Childcare in Spain is much cheaper. But Spanish women only get 4 months maternity leave. (Full paid by employer). They have a right to work part time for a while. Salaries are lower. Public Healthcare IS Public Healthcare which means GP is free. Which brings me to:
Last year I spent close to €500 on GP’s and medicine for my son, who was getting sick every couple of weeks. AND I have private insurance (fecking useless to be honest). If Child Benefit is cut, again, for ALL families regardless of their income, I can assure there are going to be kids getting sick that won’t be seen by GP’s because their parents can’t afford to dish out €50 per GP visit, just to write the name of the antibiotics your child needs or worse, just to tell you: “just keep doing what you are doing, Calpol and Nurofen, €50 please :D”
So much more to moan about (Actually, it is not moaning, people, it is fighting for your rights!) but Ill stop now.
10 Irish parenting bloggers have joined forces in a “BlogMarch” to raise awareness of the crippling impact that cuts to child benefit will have on Irish families if introduced in December’s budget. The bloggers are publishing a blog post each over ten days to highlight the negative impact that child benefit cuts will have.
If you’d like to lend your support, you can sign the online petition here.
You can also share your thoughts with us on Twitter at #BlogMarch or Like our Facebook page.