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14th Sep 2022

Double payment of child benefit on the cards to help tackle cost of living crisis

Trine Jensen-Burke

living crisis

Every little helps.

We are all feeling the pinch these days, from electricity and gas, to petrol, food prices and everything else, there is no denying that the cost of living crisis is going to dominate this winter’s news.

However, some small measures look to at least be falling into place to help struggling families over the next few months.

According to the Irish Examiner,  parents are likely to see childcare costs decline by €200 per month next year and a further €200 per month the following year, after an agreement was reached between Government parties ahead of the next budget.

As well as this, a double payment of child benefit is also expected in the coming months.

‘Number one budget priority’

Proposals from Minster for Children, Roderic O’Gorman to reduce childcare fees by 50 per cent over the next two budgets have “been accepted” and have been described as the “number one budget priority” aside from the cost-of-living package of once-off measures.

Three Cabinet ministers confirmed that the Coalition parties are agreed that reducing childcare costs will be a centrepiece of this month’s budget. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have signed up to Mr O’Gorman’s proposals, with one minister saying: “It is now effectively the Government’s position.”

Childcare costs in Ireland have been astronomical for many years now, with Irish parents on average paying in the region of €800 per month per child for childcare – with the cost in many regions being substantially higher.

Mr O’Gorman also said a new pay deal for childcare workers will be signed off in the next few weeks, bringing in minimum pay of €13 per hour for workers in this sector.

Parents will also likely see a double month’s payment of the child benefit allowance under the Government’s plans to help families with the cost-of-living crisis.

Speaking about the plans, a Government source said to the Irish Examiner that one “strong option” on the table is a one-off payment before Christmas, which will be a cost-of-living measure the Government has been signalling.

Child benefit is €140 a month for each child and is payable to the parents or guardians of children under 16 years of age. It is also paid to the parents or guardians of children aged under 18 if the child is in full-time education.

It is also understood that there could be a double payment of pensions and other welfare payments before the end of the year.