Child Benefit is an allowance paid to the parents or guardians of children and young adults. The payment is means tested in most countries. When it was introduced in Ireland in 1944 it was decided not to means test what was then called the Children’s Allowance. General taxation was increased to fund the new allowance.
Discussion on the introduction of Children’s Allowance in Ireland began in 1939. At the time the population of Ireland was in decline. In other European countries where the population was in decline, a Child Benefit scheme had been introduced. Following almost five years of debate the Children’s Allowances Act was enacted by The Oireachtas in 1944.
Child Benefit, which at first was called Children’s Allowances was introduced in Ireland in the year 1944 On This Day.