09 Aug 2022

Child benefit should be cut for parents of children who miss school regularly - TD

Child benefit should be cut for parents of children who miss school regularly - TD

Parents whose children miss school regularly should have their child benefit payments cut, according to Deputy Denis Naughten. 

New figures show Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has sent warning letters to nearly 3,000 parents over the past seven years, over the issue, Deputy Naughten said.

He said he knew of a story of children getting up in the morning, making their own lunches and then standing at the door in the hope that one of the parents will bring them to school.

The children ended up missing a substantial amount of school, until the parents were fined, he said. 

"Surely it makes far more sense, at a much earlier stage, where the Department of Social Welfare tells them 'if you don't bring them to school, your child benefit will be suspended', which is the law and that will actually be enforced," Deputy Naughton said on local radio. 

He said it makes far more sense to suspend the payment of child benefit than Tusla "dragging parents to court and potentially fining or jailing them". 

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