Deputy Broughan was right to talk about the Supplementary Estimate we have most years for one scheme or another because they are demand led and if there is a higher demand, there is a higher need. The cost of disability tender will, I hope, go out by the end of this month. That body of work will inform all disability payments in the future arising from the special cost of living, over and above a jobseeker's or a pensioner's allowance. It will probably take 12 months. I have asked for preliminary results if I can get them before this year's budget. It may not be possible but my intentions are clear: I need to reflect people's lived experience of disability which is not the same as another jobseeker's experience.
We will also follow up on the commitment to consult, which I expect to happen before, on and during the pre-budget forum that we hold every July. I will engage with the social partners many times between now and July because I would like to be able to finalise the algorithm.
I have read Deputy Brady's Bill and I very much hope he will continue to process his thoughts and views in the conversation that we will have with the social partners. The index we use is not just as simple as lining it up against one or the other. We need to come up with an amalgamation of an algorithm of what we decide is going to provide adequacy in pensionable or working age for a person with a disability. That needs to be defined and agreed by all of us, otherwise it will not pass in this House and I will be wasting my time.
I think I differ from Deputy O'Dea in that all our payments are above the 30% index rate but he was right that if we decide it is 30% and people are below that, they have to be brought up to whatever it is we agree before we introduce indexing and allow it to move on thereafter. It is not like the Low Pay Commission. If we had a minimum wage people would have to be brought up to that before we could allow the Low Pay Commission do its work on an annual basis, and we all expect and respect the report that comes from it. This has to be the same. We all have to agree that the starting bar is X, and then we have to agree on the algorithm or the indexing calculation to get us to a Y recommendation every year from the equivalent of the Low Pay Commission or whatever body we decide we can trust with it but there has to be a baseline, an algorithm and a calculation that we all agree.