WRITTEN ANSWERS - CIVIL SERVICE BONUSES.

asked the Minister for Finance if he will state whether the Civil Service bonus has recently been revised on the English or Irish cost of living figure; whether it is a fact that, according to the cost of living report published by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce the cost of living figure was 91 in March, 1922, and 85 at the first of the present month, showing a decrease of six points; whether during that period the Civil Service bonus has been cut on a decrease of twenty points, and will he now explain by what way this cut has been arrived at; further, whether he is aware that, in accordance with the Whitley Council cost of living agreement, the bonus should be revised every six months by averaging the index figure on the first of each month for the six months preceding the date of revision; whether the index figure is being only ascertained every three or four months in the Free State, and whether he will now say whether this method of revising the bonus is in accordance with the Whitley Council Agreement.

The bonus payable to Civil Servants is revised every 1st March and 1st September by reference to the average Saorstát cost of living figure in the preceding six months. This average is arrived at for the Saorstát by ascertaining at the middle of each quarter the increase in the cost of living as compared with the pre-war period; the expense involved would not justify the carrying out of this investigation monthly instead of quarterly.

The bonus payable by the Saorstát to its Civil Servants is higher than the bonus payable by the British Government to British Civil Servants under the British Agreement referred to in the question. The relative figures are as follows:—

Cost of Living figures for purposes of bonus.

Saorstát.

British

For period 1st September, 1922, to 1st March, 1923

90

85

For period 1st March, 1923, to 1st September, 1923

90

80

For period 1st September, 1923, to 1st March, 1924

85

75

asked the Minister for Finance whether he is aware that in February, 1922, an Act was passed by the British Parliament whereby the supplemental pension of retired Civil Servants is revised in accordance with the cost of living; whether this Act was not in force at the time the Irish Civil Servants were taken over by the Provisional Government; and, if so, whether he will now say why this British Act, passed into law after the transfer of the Irish Civil Servants to the Provisional Government, is being applied to those Civil Servants.

The method of calculating bonus for the purposes of Civil Service pensions to which the Deputy refers, and which it may be observed was put in force not by an Act of the British Parliament, but by the Treasury as a service regulation, existed prior to the transfer of the Irish Civil Service.

No Civil Servant was transferred to the Provisional Government prior to the 1st of April, 1922.