Burton wants social welfare system that encourages people to work

The Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton has said children at risk of poverty must be protected under the social welfare system.

Yesterday, the Mangan Report recommended there should be a universal child benefit payment for all, with a top-up payment for those who need it most.

It proposes a two-tier payments system, rather than taxation, which would see only those earning less than €25,000 a year will automatically be entitled to the maximum payment.

Reports today suggest any reform of the child benefit system could be delayed for two years or beyond the next General Election.

The Social Protection Minister has outlined the kind of social welfare reform she wants to see.

Ms Burton said: "We want a system that actively encourages everybody to be involved in working, because again coming back to children who are at risk of poverty or poor outcomes, the worst outcomes are for children who are in families where none of the adults in the household are working.

"The example that is given shows that children are also at risk of poverty if the income for the household is below €25,000."

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