A mother of four has shared how she and several of her friends are donating their extra child support to charity.
Anne McDonagh makes €560 a month, so this month she received a double payment of €1,120.
While families across the country rejoiced at the double payment in their bank accounts, Ms McDonagh said she was uncomfortable receiving the extra €140 for each of her children as she felt her family didn’t need them.
She said several of her friends have also decided they don’t need the extra money, so they will be donating the money to charity instead.
“I am very aware that I am fortunate to not be in need of child support this month,” said Ms McDonagh. “My husband and I both have good jobs – he works in finance and I in marketing – and since we have four children, that’s an unexpected €560.
“While obviously it would be nice to get an extra bonus, if I’m honest I wouldn’t spend it on anything substantial and most likely go for Christmas presents or a night out.
“So we decided that instead of taking it and treating ourselves or the kids to something nice, we’d donate it to someone who really needs it.”
Ms McDonagh said while she will not keep the extra welfare herself, she was “not comfortable giving it back to the government either”.
Social Protection Secretary Heather Humphreys said this week that wealthy families who don’t need double child support can give it back to the state.
But Ms McDonagh said: “When we decided to donate the money I spoke to some friends who are in a similar position.
“They have also decided to pass on their extra child support to those in need. We had heard that there will be an option to refuse the money or return it to social services.
“But none of us felt like that would really do anything as it would probably get lost somewhere in the system.
“There are countless people in Ireland who have neither food nor shelter, and there are now many refugees in the country too.
“So it made more sense for me and my friends to actually give the money to a charity after receiving it ourselves. So that’s what we’re going to do.”
The 52-year-old said the donation of the extra welfare benefit was not something that merited a “pat on the back”.
She added that she’s not seeking credit for her decision to donate the money to charity.
However, she believes if “more people who aren’t in need donate to those who are, then the country would be much better off.”
“I don’t feel like I deserve a medal or anything for donating the 560 euros,” she said. “And to be honest, that’s the least I can do. But I think there are many other people in a similar situation to me who don’t actually need it, and even more who could do with twice the amount.
“I know many people have a problem with families being means tested because it is difficult to decipher what each person in a household has access to.
“But in the absence of any other alternative, I think that anyone who can well do without the money should consider donating it, as you never miss out on what you didn’t expect in the first place.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/were-giving-it-to-someone-who-needs-it-mums-donate-their-extra-child-benefit-payment-to-charity-42117839.html “We’ll give it to someone who needs it” – mothers donate their extra child support to charity