I move: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time." The object of this Bill is to provide permanently certain powers which had been taken under the Emergency Powers legislation in relation to superannunation. Section 1 of the Superannuation Act of 1887 gave power to the Treasury, which has been adapted to mean the Minister for Finance, to make a warrant regulating the grant of gratuities and annual allowances payable to a person employed in the Civil Service of the State who was injured in the actual discharge of his duty without his own default and by some injury specifically attributable to the nature of his duty. The section prescribed, however, that the maximum gratuity should not exceed one year's salary of the person injured and that the allowance under the section should not, together with any superannuation allowance to which the individual was otherwise entitled, exceed the salary of the person injured or £300 a year, whichever was less. Power was also granted to make an award to the widow, wholly dependent mother and children of a civil servant, who, having been injured in the circumstances I have indicated, died from the injury.
I propose in Section 2 of the present Bill to replace the authority given under Emergency Powers (No. 356) Order, 1945, to modify the provisions of the earlier Act. In the first place, a period is being set in regard to death resulting from the injury. The time limit, as the Bill indicates, is within seven years after the date of the injury and the death must be the direct result of the injury. I propose further to supply a deficiency in the earlier statute and to provide for the case of the wife who is the breadwinner and is supporting a disabled husband. To meet certain income-tax difficulties in regard to the payment of dependents' allowances I have incorporated a purely verbal amendment under which payment can be made to or in respect of the children. I propose also to remove the upper limit of £300 a year laid down in the earlier Act as that figure is unnecessarily low by reference to modern standards and conditions and I am substituting therefor a proviso that an allowance granted to an injured person shall not, together with any superannuation allowance for which he is otherwise qualified, exceed five-sixths of the actual annual salary and emoluments of the office held by him at the date of injury. In determining this five-sixths figure, the annuity value of the lump sum payable to civil servants to whom the Superannuation Act, 1909, applies will be taken into account.
If the House approves of this amendment, and these new provisions are duly enacted, I propose to lay on the Table without delay a new warrant containing the provisions which will hereafter apply.
Section 3 is entirely new and deals with a special case in respect of which it was found necessary to take exceptional measures when the Public Services (Temporary Economies) Act, 1933, was being enacted. On account of personal undertakings given to the individual concerned shortly after the Saorstát Éireann administration began to function, my predecessor, who promoted the Public Services (Temporary Economies) Act, felt, after representations made to him from the Opposition Benches, that an exception should be made, and this officer was exempted from the reductions in salary applied to civil servants generally.
In view of the headline set in the 1933 Act, I have felt that this officer should similarly be exempted from the bonus stabilisation provisions imposed on the Civil Service as a whole.
The section empowers the grant to the individual concerned of a superannuation award calculated by reference to a salary, inclusive of bonus, which the officer would have received if the Civil Service (Stabilisation of Bonus) Regulations, 1940, did not apply to him immediately before the date of his retirement.