This meeting was convened for the purpose of the consideration by the select sub-committee of the Social Welfare Bill 2015 which was referred to it by orders of the Dáil on 5 and 10 November. The Bill gives effect principally to the social welfare measures announced in the Budget Statement on 13 October which are generally due to take effect in early 2016. They provide for increases in social protection payments, including certain pensions, child benefit, the respite care grant which has been renamed as the carer support grant and family income supplement. The Bill also provides for changes to PRSI contributions and credits. It comprises two Parts, ten sections and two Schedules.
I welcome the Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection, Deputy Kevin Humphreys, and his officials. I ask members and visitors to switch their mobile phones to silent or flight mode to avoid interference with the broadcasting equipment. It is my intention to conclude Committee Stage this afternoon. Is that agreed? Agreed.
I draw members' attention to the grouping of amendments for the purposes of the debate. It is proposed to group amendments Nos. 1, 3, 34 to 38, inclusive and 41 together; amendments Nos. 4, 5, 7, 8 and 14 to 21, inclusive, together; amendments Nos. 31 to 33, inclusive, together and amendments 39 and 40. The amendments which have been ruled out of order are Nos. 6, 9 to 11, inclusive, 13, 24, 25 and 27 to 30, inclusive. All other amendments which have not been grouped will be discussed individually. I will give the explanation for the various amendments that have been ruled out of order when we reach them.