December 5, 2023

‘A vital lifeline’ – Kilkenny TD urges Government not to withhold child benefit for older teens

A local TD has called for child benefit to be paid for 16-18 year olds over the school holidays.

Deputy Kathleen Funchion spoke out after it emerged many families expecting the payment this week did not receive it.

The Carlow-Kilkenny TD, who is also Sinn Féin’s frontbench spokesperson for children, said many parents did not receive the payment just because they were unaware they needed to fill out a form and it stamped by their children’s school.

Deputy Funchion said: “Last year due to school closures, child benefit continued to be paid in respect of 16-18 year olds during the school holidays given the difficulties posed by Covid-19.

“This was a vital lifeline for many families here in Kilkenny and across the state, as it provided much-needed financial support.

“This year, parents were not informed that this would not happen again this summer and that instead, a form signed by the school was required in order for Child Benefit to continue to be paid.

“Schools are now closed for the summer and parents are unable to get the necessary form signed. This is an appalling situation, which will see the finances of thousands of ordinary families suffer.

“The Government must take direct and urgent steps to address this and ensure this crucial money is not withheld from families who need it.

“Child Benefit is a critical source of income for families, especially to support older children. It is also relied on heavily by many parents in order to meet back-to-school costs, a costly time for parents,” Deputy Funchion added.



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