Limerick senator welcomes decision to extend child benefit to 19-year-olds in education

Senator Maria Byrne

PLANS to extend child benefit to those up to 19 years of age in full time education is a positive step, according to one Limerick senator.

Senator Maria Byrne welcomed the news that child benefit is to be extended to young people aged up to 19 years of age, as long as they are in full time education, will be a welcome development to many families whose benefit stops when a child turns 18, even if they are still in school.

Senator Byrne said that, “following Budget 2024, one thing I was particularly keen to see is the extension of child benefit to all full-time students up to 19-years-old”.

“As parents know, child benefit stops once a child turns 18, but nowadays, many sixth year students are 18 or even 19 when they’re sitting their Leaving Cert.

“They’re still in full-time education and at this stage in a young person’s life, parents are still very much the financial providers for all their needs, and it isn’t fair that child benefit stops at 18 when the majority of young people are still in secondary school.

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“The expenses don’t just stop at 18, especially when your teenager is still in school and not working,” Senator Byrne said.

The Fine Gael senator said that the move recognises the “evolving needs of families and the societal benefits of funding education”.

“Any extension to a social welfare payment obviously comes at a cost, but given the very careful management of public finances over the last number of years, I believe that this is an investment that we should be in the position to make,” Senator Byrne said.