CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - REDUCTION IN OLD AGE PENSION.

asked the Minister for Finance why John Maughan, of Carrenrod, Easky, County Sligo, had his old age pension of 8/- per week reduced to 5/- in 1925, and completely stopped in July, 1927.

When the pension of 8/- a week was originally granted the pensioner's wife was alive, and his means for old age pension purposes were assessed under Section 2 (2) of the Old Age Pensions Act, 1911, at one-half of the joint means of the couple. The rate of pension was reduced, as from 5th September, 1924, to 5/- a week on review under the provisions of Section 4 of the Old Age Pensions Act, 1924.

In March, 1927, the pension officer discovered that the pensioner's wife died in October, 1926, and as the pensioner thereupon ceased to be entitled to the benefit of Section 2 (2) of the Old Age Pensions Act, 1911, and, as a result, his means exceeded the statutory limit, a question was raised for revocation of the pension. This question was allowed by the Department of Local Government and Public Health on 19th August, 1927, and payment of the pension was accordingly stopped on receipt of this decision.

Is the Minister aware that this old man is an invalid; that he is suffering from a fractured hip, and is only able to move about with the assistance of crutches? Is he further aware that his sole means of support at present is a pension of 8/5 per week which he is in receipt of from the English War Office for a son who was killed during the Great War? In view of these circumstances, would the Minister be prepared to reconsider the case?

I think it can only be reconsidered in one way—by making application, if he believes that his means are less than the statutory limit. The matter will then be decided in the ordinary way.