Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Children's Allowance.

23.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a children's allowance due since June 1980 has not been issued to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny.

The current children's allowance order book in this case was recalled from the Post Office on receipt of information from the Department of Health and Social Security, Great Britain, that the claimant had left the country. I am now satisfied as a result of inquiries made by my Department that the person in question is residing at her County Kilkenny address and the allowance book with orders cashable from September 1980 was re-issued on 31 October 1980. A payable order for £23.00 in respect of arrears due from July 1980 issued on 3 November 1980.

I accept the Minister's reply but I asked specifically in the question why her correspondence was not replied to. Correspondence addressed to the Minister's Department was not answered and that is very unsatisfactory.

The Deputy's question was to ask the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a children's allowance due since June 1980 had not been issued to a person in County Kilkenny and surely my answer has covered that.

The query must have been changed.

That is the question down here.

This person wrote twice and received no reply. Is the Minister aware that this is happening?

The situation is if someone writes to me——

From Carlow or Kilkenny.

I would not be aware of all the 250,000 letters a day coming to the Department but if the Deputy had written to me about a problem he would have got a reply.

I write to the Secretary of the Department. Is the Minister aware that there are problems with the issuing of children's allowance books and there is undue delay? Is he further aware that correspondence from people prepared to take up their pen and not approach public representatives is not replied to? I am very concerned about that.

I will bring it to the notice of the Minister.

I would be grateful.

Will the Minister clarify if the Department receive 250,000 letters a day? That would amount to 5,000,000 letters a month. That would be 2,000,000 more letters than there are people in the country.