Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (507)

Cormac Devlin

Question:

507. Deputy Cormac Devlin asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will consider consolidating the legislation with regard to the public services card into one single Act that would strengthen the legal basis for the card and provide a dedicated legal pathway for use across various Departments and agencies; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6953/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

It is important to distinguish between a process of legislative consolidation and the enacting of new legislation to modify or supplement existing law.

Legislative consolidation is the process provided for when it is desired to consolidate all existing statute law on a particular subject matter from two or more existing Acts of the Oireachtas, into one replacement Act of the Oireachtas.

The Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, as amended, already contains the provisions which are the legal basis for the Public Services Card.

Accordingly if it were thought necessary to modify or supplement existing law relating to the Public Services Card this would need to be undertaken by way of new or amending legislation: not by means of a Consolidation Bill.

However, I am satisfied that the provisions contained in the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, as amended, provide a strong legal basis for the Public Services Card and its use across the various public bodies set out in Schedule 5 of that Act and there are no plans to amend these provisions.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.