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Fine Gael helping the squeezed middle with expansion of child benefit – Doherty

13th February 2024 - Regina Doherty

A Fine Gael Senator has welcomed the expansion of child benefit to 18-year-olds from 1st May, for those in full-time education or who have a disability.

Senator Regina Doherty said: “The expansion of child benefit is a key Social Protection measure in Budget 2024, and it’s great that Minister Heather Humphreys has announced that it can be achieved earlier than expected. It will benefit more than 60,000 families across Ireland.

“Child benefit is currently a monthly payment of €140 per child, and is under 16, or under 18 if in full-time education, full-time training or has a disability. However, we need to recognise that there are many households nationwide with 18-year olds who are in full time education, or have a disability.

“It is now the norm that 18-year olds are in full-time education; something that wasn’t the case for previous generations. More students are staying in school all the way to the Leaving Cert, and that is a testament to the success of programmes like Transition Year, as well as support schemes that promote school completion.

“Thanks to Fine Gael in government, there are now more opportunities for students leaving school. My colleague, Minister Simon Harris, is introducing new third-level degrees outside the “points race”, boosting upskilling and investing in apprenticeships.

“Bringing up children and teenagers is expensive, especially for households affected by the increased Cost of Living. The expansion of child benefit is another way Fine Gael is helping the squeezed middle”, concluded Senator Doherty.

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