I am being piled up with points. I have not taken notes and I will deal with them as I can.
First, on the definition of "child" in section 5, as Deputy Fleming will be aware, I have had directly, and through my officials, exhaustive consultations with the public sector unions on these matters. This is a fundamental and difficult change for them. I am grateful that, without saying that they are enthusiastic about it because they are not, and do not want to say that they are, there is a degree of understanding that we need to make fundamental changes that will lessen the pension demand on the State in the future.
While we are reducing the basic level of pension, one of the agreements I came to with them is that we would not reduce the current entitlement in the case of children. What that section on definitions mirrors is what applies currently. I do not want to target the children of future pensioners. I will leave that entitlement there. The definition simply mirrors what is there. If there are future changes, obviously, that will be done in primary legislation separate from this. It is not my intention to do that.
In terms of the consumer price index point, everybody understands what the CPI is. I am putting in all items. There would be an argument, for example, to exclude mortgage interest payments for pensioners because most pensioners would not pay a mortgage. Some obviously would, but that would not normally be part of the demands on a pensioner. I thought, to be as generous as possible, we would include all items of expenditure in the CPI and that is why that is there.
Deputy Fleming makes a point on an "equivalent index published from time to time". The idea is that this is robust legislation for the future and if there is a different name or title given to the CPI by the Central Statistics Office in the future, we will not need to come back to amend primary legislation as long as it is understood that it is the same thing - it is equivalent - or there will not be any ambiguity about the legality of pension entitlements. That is what that idea is to capture. There is not a difficulty with that.
The bigger issue is that of the allowances of which Deputy Fleming spoke. It is true that I am reviewing allowances. I do not want to over-hype this. We had an interesting discussion on this matter previously at this committee, if Deputy Fleming will recall, on allowances payable, for example, to the Government Chief Whip or Ministers in attendance at the Cabinet. That is a misnomer. It is something we might look at in the future, which is, when we classify basic pay as an allowance. It is now almost an anachronism. I get an allowance for being a member of the Cabinet. It is my wages for being a member of the Cabinet - it is not an allowance - and it should be classified as such. The same applies with a principal teacher. A principal teacher gets his or her teaching pay and an allowance for being a principal teacher. It is actually a different grade and it is part of pay.
There are allowances that probably are not justified now and we will be addressing those when I get through Government on the allowances review that we have finished. There will be a significant number of what are called allowances which are actually pay rates and we might be better off to call them that and classify them as such in future.
Although maybe I should not be saying it out loud yet, I had interesting discussions with my colleague, the Minister for Education and Skills, on these matters. There are many allowances payable in the education sector which would be better were they a wage structure applicable to specific jobs' functions.
I do not agree with the Deputy that one needs to know what all the pensionable allowances are. Anybody who has a pensionable allowance already will continue to have the pension entitlement that has accrued to date but if that allowance ceases after the review, obviously, any pensionability will cease with the allowance. There is no issue with that and it does not need to be captured here in relation to any piece of legislation.
Was there any other point of Deputy Fleming's presentation that I missed?