asked the Minister for Social Welfare whether he is aware that if an old age pensioner receives unemployment insurance benefit in any one year he must forfeit his old age pension book during that period, whereas if he and his wife had an income of £39 per annum from any other source they could each receive 15/- per week old age pension throughout the whole year; and, if so, whether he is prepared to examine the matter with a view to granting at least a modified pension to old age pensioners while in receipt of unemployment insurance benefit.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Old Age Pensioners and Unemployment Insurance.
I am aware that under Section 8 (5) of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1920, a person is disqualified for unemployment benefit whilst in receipt of old age pension. As unemployment benefit, particularly with the increase of benefit for dependents, is more favourable, old age pensioners may prefer not to draw the pension and to claim unemployment benefit. Where the amount of unemployment benefit comes into the calculation of means for the purpose of the Old Age Pensions Acts it is treated in the same way as other means. I am not satisfied that there are grounds for a change in the provision against concurrent payment under both codes.