Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Unemployment Assistance Payments.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he is aware that recipients in Dublin of unemployment assistance who were formerly paid in respect of five children, are now being paid only in respect of two as a result of the amendment of the Children's Allowances Act; and, if so, if he will ensure that the former practice is restored.

The limitation mentioned by the Deputy derives from Section 97 of the Social Welfare Act, 1952, under which account is not now taken of more than two dependent children in determining rates of unemployment assistance. This is in line with the general principle adopted in the Act of limiting to two the number of dependent children for whom increases are payable. I am not empowered to authorise the payment of a higher rate of unemployment assistance than those set out in the Act.

Is the Minister aware that, as a result of this alteration, some families actually lose?

That is not true.

Would the Minister inquire into it?

I have inquired.