Government has no plan for hiking first and second child benefits
While benefits for the third child and large families have been hiked on numerous occasions in recent years, the benefit for the first and second child has remained unchanged for years. Minister of Social Protection Signe Riisalo (Reform) said on the "Otse uudistemajast" webcast that the government has no plan for hiking the instrument.
Parties looking to woo large families have hiked corresponding benefits on numerous occasions in recent years. A family with three children is paid a benefit of €500 a month to which the large family benefit is added starting from the fourth child.
There are no promises for hiking the basic child benefit of €60 euros per first and second child that has remained unchanged for years. The sum is not enough to pay for a month's hobby education.
Minister Riisalo admitted the government has no plan to hike the benefit.
"We have no plan for hiking the first and second child benefit. It is a support instrument, as opposed to the state paying parents to bring up children. It is a support instrument, aimed at where statistics suggests people have trouble coping," Riisalo explained.
She added that the general aim of family benefits is to lift families with children out of poverty.
"And families with three and more children have been lifted out of poverty," the minister suggested.
However, statistics suggests that single-parent families that usually have one or two children are the most at risk from poverty.
"Talking about real poverty, the state has other measures not tied to the number of children," Riisalo explained, adding that families of children with disabilities and those where the parent has a disability are also at risk. She said that fostering family mediation that would make it possible for parents to agree on matters of upbringing and support in cases where one parent does not actively participate in raising the child would be useful.
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Editor: Marcus Turovski