Opportunities of Monetary Family Benefits in Reducing Poverty of Children and Families with Children
The authors state that, unlike the high parental benefit, child benefits paid to families in Estonia are very low.
Such disproportion between parental benefit and child benefit rates renders the effect of family policy measures on mitigation of poverty insignificant. At the same time, due to the economic crisis, special attention should be paid in particular to the less advantaged members of the society. The only question is, which social policy means to use for that and what the role of family policy measures might be in that process. In the authors’ opinion, more attention should be paid to the child benefit system because child benefit is the factor which has the strongest impact on the poverty of children and families with children. It should be discussed whether raising of the universal child benefit is realistic in view of the budget opportunities of immediate future. There are however different opportunities for better targeting of child benefits by abandoning payment of child benefit to families whose income exceeds a certain income level and by increasing benefits to families with lower income on account of the resources that would be released, or by creating a supplementary additional benefit mechanism besides the universal child benefit.