Updated: 14/08/12 : 07:48:21Printable Version
Parents who feel they do not need child benefit could be given the chance to opt out of the payments.
It is part of a round of proposals being drawn up at the Department of Social Protection which could also see wealthier parents hand the money back to the State.
All families with children are currently entitled to receive the €140 child benefit payment each month.
But as pressure mounts to cut costs, The Irish Times reports today that Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton wants to give people who do not feel they need the cash the option of handing it back, or opting out of the scheme.
Officials at her department have been given the job of finding a way to put the provision in place.
At the moment, 600,000 families around the country receive child benefit, at a cost to the state of €2bn every year.