Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Earnings of Widows.

64.

Mr. Ryan

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if, having regard to the fall in the value of money and consequential increases in the nominal value of wages and incomes, he will take steps to increase to £6 per week the income which a widow may earn without affecting her right to a non-contributory widow's pension; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The answer is in the negative.

Mr. Ryan

Having regard to the fact that the Minister for Agriculture recently successfully appealed to the Minister for Finance to take him out of an embarrassing situation, if we embarrass the Minister for Social Welfare sufficiently on behalf of the widows, will he make a like appeal to the Minister for Finance?

This Government have increased widows' pensions to an extent that more than kept pace with the rise in the cost of living.

Mr. Ryan

While not accepting what the Minister says, would the Minister not, at this stage, take cognisance of the fact that the basic amount which widows are allowed to earn before it affects their pensions was fixed in 1943 and having regard to the fact that the lowest paid charwoman is now paid twice as much as she was paid in 1943, would he not consider raising the ceiling a little?

There may be some changes in that limit.