Buncrana councillor Rena Donaghey has claimed families in Inishowen, particularly farming families, already struggling because of the fodder crisis and cuts to the Farm Assist payment scheme have had another blow this week as the government taxes Maternity Benefit.
Stating that the whole thrust of this government was ‘anti family and anti rural’ Cllr Donaghey says the Government’s budget policy of taxing Maternity Benefit will hit 46,000 mothers throughout the country this week.
She told the Journal: “Mothers I meet every week tell me they feel under attack. Child Benefit, the One Parent Family Allowance and the Back to School Allowance were cut at the last budget.
“The anti-family approach of the Government has been significant and mothers will this week pay the price for these policies.”
“This is also very evident in the recent cuts for farmers on Farm Assist. payment.
“I believe this to be one of the most senseless cuts the Government introduced in their regressive budget
The Fianna Fail councillors said mothers will this week begin to feel the effects of having their Maternity Benefit taxed; this could cost as much as €833 per mother on average but it could cost some mothers as much as €2,700.
“By treating Maternity Benefit as taxable income, this will greatly reduce the payment mothers receive every week. The 46,000 mothers in receipt of the allowance will tell you the payment is not a luxury and many depend on the payment to be able to survive and provide for their new born babies and children.