Controversial Ryanair boss has called on the Irish government to scrap children’s allowance payments – after branding them a ‘subsidy’ for people to have sex.
Opposition is mounting to the government’s budget plans to cut the state support payment made to the parents of every child in Ireland.
Now O’Leary has rowed into the debate – at the launch of four new Ryanair routes from Knock Airport – and claimed that the scheme is ridiculous.
The multi-millionaire has also stated that neither he nor his wife needs the payment.
“Child benefit in this country should be scrapped,” claimed O’Leary as he sat alongside Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny at the launch.
“We’re borrowing €1.3bn from European banks and European governments so that you can pay my wife four amounts of children’s allowance when I clearly don’t need it. I think it’s absurd.
“I think we should scrap it for everybody. There are clearly people on lower incomes and you need to channel children’s allowance to them through income support schemes, single-parent allowances where you’re trying to target money at people on very low incomes.”
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O’Leary then claimed that the children’s allowance payment is a sex subsidy.
He added: “This broad band of just giving everybody children’s allowance - it’s like the Government subsidizing people money to have sex.
“Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m very happy to have sex for free, I don’t need a subsidy for it
“”Borrowing money from Europeans to give rich people in Ireland, or even people on average incomes, children’s allowance, is an absurdity.
“I’ll get pilloried by the women of Ireland, but frankly, you don’t need it and they’ll still have children, whether they get children’s allowance or not.
“Channel the money where it’s needed and that would be to people on lower incomes, but use income support schemes and single-parent allowances for doing that, but not some kind of ridiculous children’s allowances.”