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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 17 Feb 1993

Vol. 426 No. 2

Written Answers. - Garda Arbitration Board Report.

Michael Bell


19 Mr. Bell asked the Minister for Justice the reason the terms of the Garda Arbitration Board Report No. 15 of 5 March, 1983, have not been fully implemented yet; her views on whether this anomaly should be rectified in this, the 70th anniversary of the formation of the Garda Force; the number of retired members or spouses who would qualify for the benefit of pensionable rent allowance prior to 1983; the estimated annual and reducing cost; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

John Browne


50 Mr. Browne (Carlow/Kilkenny) asked the Minister for Justice her views on the position of Gardaí who retired before 1 October, 1982, and who are not allowed pensionability of rent allowance as are those who retired after that date.

I propose to take Questions Nos. 19 and 50 together.

The position is that the Garda Representative Association and the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors referred a claim to arbitration to have a number of allowances which are paid to members of the Force made pensionable. The Arbitrator recommended in March, 1983 that some of those allowances — including rent allowance — should be made pensionable with effect from 1 October, 1982. The recommendations contained in the Garda Arbitration Board Report No. 15 have been fully implemented.
The full-year cost in 1993 if rent allowance were to be made pensionable for members and surviving spouses of members — estimated at 682 and 1,845 respectively — who retired before 1 October, 1982 is estimated to be about £1.2 million. This estimate does not provide for retrospection. An estimate of the cost in subsequent years would require detailed information on, and analysis of, the age distribution and hence the life expectancy of the pensioners in question. The information readily available would suggest that the corresponding cost in 1997 would be of the order of £600,000, falling to some £200,000 by the year 2002.
The Garda Pensioners Association subsequently asked to have the benefits of the recommendation concerning rent allowance applied to their members who retired before 1 October, 1982. That Association was informed in August, 1984 that, because of the very considerable additional costs involved and the critical state of the Exchequer finances, the recommendation could not be applied to those members. There are no proposals to change that decision.