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Extending child benefit for secondary school students marks a positive step forward – Higgins

13th February 2024 - Emer Higgins, TD

Plans to extend child benefit for those up to the age of 19 in full time education is a welcome development, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Deputy Emer Higgins said: “Following Budget 2024, one thing I was particularly keen to see is the extension of child benefit to all full-time students up to 19-years-old. As parents know, child benefit stops once a child turns 18, but nowadays, many sixth-year students are 18 or even 19 when they’re sitting their Leaving Cert.
“They’re still in full-time education and at this stage in a young person’s life, parents are still very much the financial providers for all their needs, and it isn’t fair that child benefit stops at 18 when the majority of young people are still in secondary school. The expenses don’t just stop at 18, especially when your teenager is still in school and not working.
“This is something that I have raised in the past and as we look at ways to assist people to manage the cost of living, Government is now bringing forward this extension to child benefit,” added Deputy Higgins.
“For a lot of hard-working families, child benefit is the only social welfare payment that they receive and extending it up to the age of 19, providing the young person is still in full-time education, would no doubt be a help to parents and guardians.
“Set to benefit families in respect of around 60,000 18-year-olds in secondary school up until their 19th birthday, this move recognises the evolving needs of families and the societal benefits of supporting education.
Deputy Higgins continued: “Any extension to a social welfare payment, obviously comes at a cost, but given the very careful management of public finances over the last number of years, I believe that this is an investment that we should be in the position to make.
“This investment in our families and young people is not just a matter of financial support; it’s a commitment to ensuring that students can complete their secondary education without financial strain. By extending child benefit, Fine Gael are acknowledging the importance of education and the role it plays in levelling the playing field for all our young people.” concluded Deputy Higgins.


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