Cutting Child Benefit

I can see no problem with giving child benefit to people with one, two or three children, but why do we hand out ever-increasing amounts of public money to people who decide to have five, six or ten children?

Why is that my responsibility?

Why should I keep paying because some fucker can’t keep his dick in his pants?

Explain that to me please.  What is the incentive to limit your family size if the State will pay you money every time you pop one out?

Remember, the government is hinting at cuts of €4 billion in the budget, and we spend €2.3 billion on child benefit alone.

What is the incentive to confine your family to a number that you can feed and educate?  It’s insane. The more children you have, the higher the rate you’re paid at.

Here’s how it works:

One child, €150 per month.

Two children €300 per month — €150 each

Three children €487 per month — €162 each

Four children €674 per month — €168 each

Five children €861 per month — €172 each

Six children €1068 per month — €178 each

Where’s the incentive to act responsibly?  The more children you have, the better the rate of benefit per child.  It’s insane and it needs to be changed.  Why should somebody who decides to have a dozen children place them as a burden on the taxpayer?  How about not having a dozen children?  Would that be such a radical suggestion?

How about not having a huge gang of urchins you can’t look after?

How about taking some responsibility for your personal behaviour?

I don’t care how many children people have, as long as they can look after them, educate them and teach them to be good, contributing citizens, but don’t expect society at large to support you just because you think you have a right to keep procreating without limit.

There is a limit, or at least, there should be.  It’s insane.

53 replies on “Cutting Child Benefit”

The Tories are making some tough cuts on welfare across the water-but Osbournes proposal to have a limit on the maximum benefits per household is one of the more sensible ideas I’ve heard.Theres’ something I’d never thought I’d say.

Seems to be in keeping with the Catholic Churches ethos of non family planning.
The more you sprout out the better.
In saying that I come from a family of five! :)

Think about it positively. If we didn’t have an underclass who would sweep the mushy autumn leaves off the streets, or who would clean the (admittedly short supply) public latrines? Think about how the emigration of the Irish to the four corners has enhanced the worldwide gene pool. Think about the dollar, renminbi and euro remittances that Eire’s exiled sons and daughters will send into the foreign exchange system. The President at the Arus can continue to remember their achievements with an electric candle glowing in a bedroom window.

When I hear of you sweeping the streets or driving a bus I’ll think of you as working class, Bock.

I’d add also that there are a few people unemployed at the moment. 450,000 or so.
Ireland is currently running at 13.5% unemployment I believe.
I don’t believe those people should ever be referred to as the underclass.
Such a horrible term.
Out of curiosity, what class are you Benno? Personally, I tend to think of myself as belonging to the human class.

I think there is undoubtedly an underclass, but they aren’t the people Benno refers to. Leaving aside working people and those who have lost their jobs, there’s a large chunk of the population who have never worked in the good times, nor their parents nor grandparents before them. They are the underclass.

Fair enough Bock.. but it should be stressed given the state of the current economic environment that there are those who do wish to work but can’t find employment. Those people should be excluded from being vilified for not working. It might be a long time before they have gainful employment again given the cock up our goverment are making of the country.

Also I might add that when the Bennos of this world find that they can’t put food on the table for their kids or feed themselves, they’ll happily take work driving a bus or cleaning latrines and won’t be ashamed to do so.

That’s true. The world is over-populated, and eventually the human bug will kill the planet.

That’s why I have misgivings about awarding the Nobel prize to a guy who pioneered in-vitro fertilisation. Appallingly, I find myself in the same camp as the Catholic church, though for very different reasons. The horror of it!

Why not have a fine for breeding sur.. and while we’re at it, I think there should be a special incentive if you breed kids who can spell.
I presume you were bred William. Or are you the immaculate conception incarnate?

If they gave it to Obama they’d give it to anyone – Jacky Healy Rae will be getting it next. I thought Europe was under populated – hence panic about pensions in 30 years time. Likewise, should Europeans be offered incentives for getting in the saddle.

Well I’m not moving to Asia or Africa anytime soon. So I’ll happily reproduce my genius if I find a suitable person of my calibre.

The catholic church seems to think the world will expand to accomodate never ending population growth.At the moment the new Philippine president is trying to introduce family planning.He is getting veiled threats from the church that he might be excomunicated.Yet I notice the catholic church there does nothing for hungry street children.

Ok. You’ve been “bred” yourself. You might want to breed at some point in the future, or you already have. You might think you have brains to burn, the charm of Casanova and the looks of Fabio. Why should you stop at reproducing two offspring? And what right do you have to suggest that others do the same?
I don’t believe it’s something that should be regulated regardless of how densely populated an area is.

Bock..not so sure Europe is underpopulated there is overpopulation in some parts.A reduction in population all over the world would solve most of the looming disasters.

As a matter of interest the global population is expected to peak at around 9 – 9.5 billion by 2050. Finally be decreasing then. Property prices will come down and I might finally be able to afford a house then!

The recent mini-baby-boom is interesting. I suspect peoples motives are:

1) Family life is a damn sight more satisfying with the world collapsing about us.
2) Adults are locked out of a ‘career’, so think ‘what the hell…’.
3) We have subconsciously adopted the developing world attitude to social security for the old – namely the more children you have, the less likely you are to find yourself starving on the streets in your seventies.

Ignoring the global situation for a moment, we could comfortably feed, shelter and provide sustainable energy for 10m people on this island, even in the face of moderately severe climate change.

But that would require a sane political economy.

Critics of the welfare system have often said that it creates a nation of assisted people.

“Remember, the government is hinting at cuts of €4 billion in the budget, and we spend €2.3 billion on child benefit alone.”

What happens to the assisted when there’s no more assistance?

Either child welfare gets cut or it becomes the crook to drag sheep back to the flock, like dole in the ’80s. Think of all the “assisted” in this country and how their voting habits might be effected by promises of keep or raising certain forms of assistance.
That’s FF keeping the back door open for a return to power.

@Pope Epopt. very good anlysis of the reasons for increase in childbirth rate, particularly the subconscious third world reasoning.
Is it not interesting that child benefit is higher on the agenda than:
A top rate of tax for high earners.
A cut in the obscene salaries of many top level public servants and semi state employees.
Asking bond holders to take their share of the losses of banks.

Child benefit should be reduced but it should not be item one on the list. Children did not cause the problem, but they will pay a higher price that the pensioners who voted for and kept those Fianna Fail bastards in power.

Why not means test it at least,is there any logic in giving it to the super wealthy who dont need it.

@William. I would agree with a means test of some kind. Ivor Callely can hardly be short of a few bob for his kids. Or Cowen. Or several others in that esteemed catagory.
On the logic of money transfers to the wealthy. The wealthy didn’t get where they are by either brains or logic.
Take Abramovich. Probably has both brains and logic but needed a few other attributes to accumulate his wealth– a Russian version of Luca Brassi-. We are finding this out at present.

William I agree. I don’t see why the state should support all children. It should definitely be means tested in my opinion.

Also apologies for my earlier comment.

I see though that Barry Andrews came out and said that while the government are in favour of bringing in means testing (I’m sure that wouldn’t come back to bite everyone in the arse..) they cannot find a way to do it.

“HIGHER earners will not be targeted for cuts to their child benefit payments in the Budget — because the Government has still not worked out a way of doing it.

Children’s Minister Barry Andrews suggested yesterday that he would like to see moves towards means testing the payment, saying it was difficult to justify paying child benefit to people on high incomes at a time of financial crisis.”


The problem is that this Government defines the high earner as earning over 50,000 euro, so the person earning 50K is hit with everything that the 100K or 550K earner gets!
Means testing, taxing, limiting would all cost moneyo to administer.
How about cutting €10 per child one and two; bringing child 3 and 4 down to the same rate of child one and two, and paying nothing at all for the fifth and subsequent child. Four is a large family these days. We can’t afford to support mega families.

That’s my point. We can’t afford to reward people for having huge families. If they make that decision, it should be their responsibility.

How do you mean Ian? Wouldn’t it mean that those on low pay would pay tax on it at the lower rate, and those on higher pay would pay a higher rate. Sounds reasonable to me. Whereas means testing would be a disaster. You’d have to hire loads of admin staff to do the assessing, and the only people who would take a hit would be PAYE people. I thought this was common knowledge for anyone over the age of about 30, remember who got the student grants and who didnt?


If it were simply included as part of overall income, the high earning families for who it is pocket money would pay marginal rate tax on it; the accumulators of tens of thousands a year in benefits, who are often better off than working people, would find themselves paying income tax (possibly for the first time); and Bock’s request for responsibility might be, in some part, met.

I would like to state at the outset that population growth is the biggest problem for this planet. The scientist James Lovelock has quite a lot to say about it and he paints a very grim picture indeed. However whenever we have an economic crisis people on social welfare come under the cosh from the right , as if they are somehow to blame. On the news last week it was reported that some character was earning 90 grand a week and not a ripple about that. Dealing with your case about child benefit I think it is completely spurious and let me show you why. In the poorer regions of the world people tend to have large families in the hope that by doing so they increase their chances of being looked after in their old age. They do this simply because they do not have social welfare. On the other hand rich countries have welfare and this removes the pressure and family size tends to fall. In the west family sizes have fallen too much and governments give inducements to encourage people to have bigger families. People who have children are doing a great service to the nation and do not deserve the abuse you meted out, shame on you.

I never said you mentioned social welfare, I dont know where you got that from. I was merely outlining the scenario as to why we have generous child benefit and that is simply that populations in the west are in decline. Okay I did use the word inducements instead of child benefit but so what, thats just playing with words further shame on you.

You mentioned social welfare three times while accusing me of abuse.

Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

Now, please quote the words of abuse you think I used.

Bock, what limit are you suggesting that child benefits should be paid on ? and what are you suggesting should happen if this limit is exceeded?

Yes you are quite right I did mention social welfare three times but I never attributed them to you. I was making the point that social welfare eliminated the need to have large families.. On the other hand I said that child benefit was an instrument to halt the decline in population in the west. Now I will quote the words that I consider abuse : Why should I keep paying because some fucker cant keep his dick in his pants: Now if thats not abuse then I dont know what is. Stick to the banksters Bock. hey and this is the first time I have disagreed with you.

“Now I will quote the words that I consider abuse : Why should I keep paying because some fucker cant keep his dick in his pants: Now if thats not abuse then I dont know what is. ”
Sounds like nice abuse to me. Is there any man who can keep his dick in his pants?

Dessiegee — THis is a post about government policy rather than what people do in their own time. I don’t care how manyt kids somebody has as long as they don’t expect me to pay for them. I’m not suggesting any consequences. I’m simply saying that it makes no sense to reward people for having huge families.Where’s the incentive to be responsible about family planning? Should the State be encouraging very large families?

Jack — To the best of my knowledge, children don’t fall out of the sky like rain. If certain fuckers would keep their dicks in their pants, we wouldn’t have to be paying them for the results.

Bock – the last sentence on your post “There is a limit, or at least, there should be. It’s insane.”

You were suggesting there should be a limit I was only inquiring as to what you think that limit should be

I too hate the idea that lazy bastards don’t look after their own kids, but whats the alternative, forced sterilisations? punish them financially? take the kids off them and give them to the church to rear? – none of them good

I don’t know what the limit should be, but I certainly don’t think the rate per child should increase the more children people have. It should go down, not up.

The amount of tax forgone by the exchequer when someone wishes to purchase an expensive pension is truly astounding. It is open to public and private sectors and often availed of people with big salaries as a way of reducing their tax bills. Perhaps the cuts should start there rather than with lower income families who may often have slightly larger families. These tax evasion ruses are also being subsisidised by all of society but in their case its for someone who is perfectly capable of looking after their pension needs were relief only at the standard rate of tax. The first port of call for this bunch of swindlers will be on the poor and their children. Give them no succour! Resist!

Tax relief on pensions is capped at between 15-40% – that range being aged related. and capped up to the astounding amount of 150,000 also. It would make sense though to take the relief on paying the higher rate of tax of 41% if you’re a high earner.
The rich get richer as they say.
What I don’t figure is this or maybe I do..:) If you are given tax relief to invest in a pension, but then the pension is taxable once drawn down.. what’s the difference.. We won’t catch you now, but we will later.

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