| 13.9°C Dublin

Pay Up Senator says Revenue should deduct child maintenance payments from negligent parents

The independent politician has submitted proposals to reform Ireland’s child maintenance system before the Oireachtas today.

Close

Lynn Ruane

Lynn Ruane

Lynn Ruane

Revenue should deduct child maintenance payments from parents who refuse to support their children, Senator Lynn Ruane has said.

The independent politician has submitted proposals to reform Ireland’s child maintenance system before the Oireachtas today, which has become a “huge” problem in recent years as setting up a standalone maintenance agency has proven “very difficult.”

Under this bill, the Revenue Commissioner would calculate fair, regular child maintenance payments relative to parents’ income and the degree of care they provide.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Ms Ruane explained: “This is a bill that we have been looking at for a number of years.

“Currently in Ireland, what happens is you have to go for court if there’s not a healthy relationship or a collegial relationship between the two parents where they get on and the maintenance is paid.

“In most cases, it’s forced into the courts and even receiving that court letter in the door creates a further adversarial relationship between two parents who are trying to co-parent. There’s usually one main caring parent.

Senator Ruane said that research has driven her team to consider the model currently being used in New Zealand.

“In their equivalent of Irish Revenue... So, the parents would apply voluntarily to Revenue,” she said.

“We’ve spent the last number of years building a calculation tool, and the calculation tool takes in a number of things - such as the amount of care that the parents provide between them, other children they may have. It’s more of a voluntary system.

“You’d get a mandatory amount set based on Revenue already having access to so much of your data, your employment data and your PAYE and PRSI.”

Senator Ruane said that she’s “very hopeful” that the bill will pass and added that it is, most importantly, “an anti-child poverty issue” that could be “detrimental” to the lives of single parent families if left unaddressed.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy