Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Reciprocity of Social Welfare Benefits.

39.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare what is the position regarding reciprocity of social welfare benefits with (i) EEC countries and (ii) Britain: what steps will be taken to extend reciprocity; whether there are any difficulties about extending it; and, if so, what are the difficulties.

There are no reciprocal arrangements in relation to social security between this country and any member country of the European Economic Community. Movement of workers between Ireland and those countries is negligible and the need for reciprocal arrangements has not arisen. Ireland and the member countries of the Community are, however, parties to two Council of Europe agreements under which the nationals of any one country, when in another, are guaranteed equality of treatment under the social security laws of that country.

Reciprocal arrangements exist with Great Britain relating to disability, marriage, maternity and unemployment benefits, contributory widows', orphans' and old age pensions and workmen's compensation. Negotiations are taking place with the British authorities for a reciprocal agreement in respect of occupational injuries. No other extension or reciprocity is at present being sought.