There is an article in the Irish Times today which goes into the difficulties of taxing child benefit. The article quotes Michael Noonan in reply to a parliamentary question.
Surely there is a much simpler solution:- allow parents to reduce their property tax by, for example, 120 euro per year for each child resident in the house. The benefit could be restricted to houses worth up to a certain value (say 400,000) to ensure that only the "coping classes" benefit. Such an arrangement would restore the cut in child benefit to many hard-pressed families while avoiding the legal minefield of taxing child benefit.Originally Posted by Michael Noonan via Irish Times
In the longer term, such an arrangement might encourage people to live in size-appropriate housing - ie. there would be a financial incentive for couples to downsize once their children had left home.
Link: Taxing child benefit may cost families €640 a year - The Irish Times - Wed, Jan 02, 2013