Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Guaranteed Minimum Family Income.

13.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare in view of the present EEC studies on the concept of a guaranteed minimum income, the progress made to date towards the implementation of a guaranteed minimum family income.

I have no proposals at present for the introduction of a guaranteed minimum family income. The studies undertaken by the EEC Commission in this area have not yet resulted in any report or recommendation from the Commission.

However, on the question of family income support, the Deputy is no doubt aware that as part of the proposed second national understanding, the Government have agreed to undertake an examination of the various means for channelling support to poor families.

Can the Minister give an indication as to whether the study has commenced on this matter arising out of the national understanding?

I have given an undertaking to the House that the Government have agreed to undertake an examination.

I accept that the Government have agreed to do it. Can the Minister indicate when it will begin and what kind of resources will be made available for it?

A number of Departments are involved in this: the Department of Labour, the Department of Finance, the Department of Social Welfare and probably the Department of Health. I am assuring the House and the Deputy that there will be no unnecessary delay.

Would I be right in understanding from what the Minister has just said that there are no plans as such other than a promise to do it?

There are plans.

If there are plans, could we have an outline of the details?

The Deputy should put down another question.

Surely it is the prerogative of the Chair to decide whether a question is in order. Has the Minister plans as distinct from promises, and can he indicate when a start will be made on those plans?

I have not got that information with me.

The Minister has the plans but not the information.

Exactly.

That is some brief.