Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Questions (627)

Willie O'Dea

Question:

627. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated full year cost of paying a double child benefit payment to parents on the birth of a child; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25124/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

Child benefit is paid to almost 632,000 qualifying adults in respect of over 1.2 Million children with an annual cost in 2018 of €2.1 Billion.

Given the universality of Child Benefit, introducing a double entitlement to parents on the birth of a child would not be a sufficiently targeted approach. Furthermore, the introduction of such a proposal would have significant cost implications and would have to be considered in an overall budgetary context.

The estimated full year cost of issuing a double child benefit payment to parents on the birth of a child is approximately €8.72 Million.

This estimate is based on the number of child benefit claims (61,856) received in respect of first and additional children in 2018. It assumes the payment of €140, representing an additional month’s payment in respect of these children. Multiple births are paid a higher rate and this additional cost has been factored in to the estimate.