Ireland – Child allowance cuts driven by EU agreement

For the original Article/Video click this LINK with thanks to Kathy Sinnott – Nora Bennis and Rodger Elderidge

Up on Equal Parenting @ Ration Shed BLOG

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Comments and Credits below


FANTASTIC LETTER From: “Nora Bennis” <>


Dear Kathy,


Below is my response to your letter in the Irish Examiner.  I had a call from the editor this morning saying that it will be published on Monday next.    


I believe it is important to alert parents to the fact that if Lisbon is voted in, there will be a conflict of rights in this area between EU policy (the Barcelona Agreement) and parents’ and children’s’ rights under the Constitution of Ireland.  If Lisbon is voted in, the new EU ‘rights’ will override parents’ rights under the Irish Constitution.   There will then be no chance of winning a Constitutional challenge.  So parents will lose out.  If parents lose out, of course children will lose out – big time.  This is another very valid reason for voting No to Lisbon.




From: Nora Bennis [
Sent: 20 August 2009 23:40
To: ‘
Subject: Children’s Allowances Cut-backs.


A Chara,


The Government’s threat to cut children’s allowances and take the Early Childcare Supplement for under 5s away from parents will be vehemently opposed by every caring mother and father in this State.   It is grossly unjust and as Kathy Sinnott pointed out in her letter to your paper of 19/8/09, cutting back on children’s allowances has nothing to do with the good of children.  Rather it is about cow-towing to our EU Bosses.  


Kathy Sinnott is absolutely correct when she says that our Government has decided, without ever asking parents or children by the way, that 90% of our children from 3 years old will be in early education outside the home by 2010.    This was decided when they signed up to the EU Barcelona Agreement in 2002 and now they are prepared to take the few bob off parents, already at the pin of their collars trying to make ends meet, just to placate our EU Bosses.     I believed then, and I still believe it now, that this action is unconstitutional, and hopefully some wealthy, caring person will take a Constitutional challenge to the proposition.


Why should all parents have to lose their early childcare supplement for their under 5s, and take cut-backs in children’s allowances, just to pay for the stupidity of our Government’s signing up to a crack-pot EU Agreement, about which the people were not consulted at the time?  I have no doubt that, as the realisation of the injustice of this proposition dawns on parents, they will make their voices heard loud and clear.   Many have already indicated to me that they will use the Lisbon referendum to make their feelings known to the Government.  They will be voting NO. 


Le dea-mhein,


Nora Bennis


Mothers At Home,






Morally and economically, the welfare state creates an ever accelerating downward pull. Morally, the chance to satisfy demands by force spreads the demands wider and wider, with less and less pretense at justification. Economically, the forced demands of one group create hardships for all others, thus producing an inextricable mixture of actual victims and plain parasites. Since need, not achievement, is held as the criterion of rewards, the government necessarily keeps sacrificing the more productive groups to the less productive, gradually chaining the top level of the economy, then the next level, then the next.


There are two kinds of need involved in this process: the need of the group making demands, which is openly proclaimed and serves as cover for another need, which is never mentioned — the need of the power-seekers, who require a group of dependent favor-recipients in order to rise to power. Altruism feeds the first need, statism feeds the second, Pragmatism blinds everyone — including victims and profiteers — not merely to the deadly nature of the process, but even to the fact that a process is going on.

Ayn Rand, The Preview – Ayn Rand Letter, I, 23, 1.


Original Article


Child allowance cuts driven by EU agreement

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


SOCIAL and Family Affairs Minister Mary Hanafin recently confirmed that children’s allowance/child benefit will be affected by budget cuts, something Finance Minister Brian Lenihan first suggested in the last budget.


The threat to children’s allowance in the next budget is causing real concern among families who have already been severely affected by the provisions of the last two budgets.

In exchange for children’s allowance for all children and early child allowance for young children, Mr Lenihan has promised one year’s free preschool for every three-year-old child .

No one who has complained to me is against preschool or the jobs it will create.

In fact, the general feeling seems to be it is long overdue as an option for parents who feel their children would benefit. What parents are against is the loss of the support, flexibility and choice that child-focused payments provide for childrearing.

Parents need the freedom to make decisions for their children and the support — including the financial support — to enable them to do so.

With the children’s allowance under threat, parents have a right to know why the Government proposes largely and permanently to eliminate it for many families in exchange for one year’s free preschool for three-year-olds.

In 2002, the Government signed up to the EU Barcelona Agreement. Among other things, this commits all EU member states to have 90% of children in childcare from their third birthday by 2010.

The Government’s lack of support for childcare, for preschool and for early intervention over the years means it is a long way from meeting its Barcelona commitment.

The clock is now ticking.

The Government has until January next to have 90% of three-year-olds in an out-of-the-home service (whether parents want one or not).

Our leaders, always obedient Europeans, intend to meet their EU target regardless of impact.

This accounts for the one-year free preschool for this Barcelona-targeted age group, beginning when the deadline is reached in January.

Clawing back on children’s allowance has nothing to do with the good of children. It is a way of meeting an EU commitment and making savings in the process.

Kathy Sinnott,
Hope Project –
St Joseph
Co Cork

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Wednesday, August 19, 2009

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