asked the Minister for Finance the number of pension and gratuity applications from (a) forestry and (b) Land Commission workers at present in the Paymaster General's office for payment; and the reason for the delay in paying them.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Forestry and Land Commission Workers.
There are nine pension applications, all in the forestry and wild life service, awaiting payment. This payment cannot commence until the statutory declaration prescribed by section 5 (1) of the Appropriation Act, 1962, has been made by the pensioner. Copies of the declaration form have been sent to the pensioners concerned and payment of pension will commence as soon as these have been completed and returned.
There are no gratuity applications in the Paymaster General's office as these are payable direct by the Department concerned.
Would the Minister not agree that this information he has given does not coincide with the information which his colleague gave last week on this point?
No, I do not agree with what the Deputy has said.
Would the Minister not agree that the Department of Lands have been slow in administering a pension scheme which was introduced for the purpose of helping old people who were compulsorily retired, some of them as long ago as two years?
I do not think it is fair to blame the Department of Lands or any other Department if the pensioner will not complete the declaration that is sent to him.
If a pensioner does not get the form until 12 months after he makes application surely somebody is at fault? It certainly is not the old age pensioner.
I am not aware of the details of cases such as this, nor do I think that the Deputy said this when he had a question down to the Minister for Lands.
I was not aware of it then. However, I am aware of it now and I am telling the Minister for Finance.
I am calling Question No. 15.