Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Defence Force Pensions.

105.

asked the Minister for Defence the plans he has to increase the wounds pension payable to former members of the Defence Forces.

106.

asked the Minister for Defence the plans he has to increase the allowances and gratuities payable to widows, children and dependants of deceased members of the Defence Forces killed in the course of duty.

With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 105 and 106 together.

In the normal course the Minister for Finance reviews in the context of his budget statement the rates of pensions, allowances and gratuities payable under the various Pensions and Superannuation Acts and announces any increases falling to be made.

Would the Minister not agree that it is about time wound pensions and also gratuities paid to women and children of deceased members of the Defence Forces who are killed in the course of duty were substantially increased? Members of the Defence Forces are more exposed to injury and death than they were heretofore owing to the duties they have to perform.

As it is very close to budget time and it is a matter for the Minister for Finance, I would prefer to make no comment.

The remaining questions will appear on the Order Paper for the next sitting day.