Go ndeontar suim ná raghaidh thar £594,295 chun slánuithe na suime is gá chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1929, chun Pinseann, Aois-liúntaisí, Cúiteamh, Liúntaisí agus Aiscí Truagha agus Breise, etc., fé Reachtanna iolardha; Cúiteamh fé Airtiogal 10 de Chonnra an 6adh Mí na Nodlag, 1921; Liúntaisí Truagha, Aiscí agus Pinseana Breise a deonadh ag an Aire Airgid; Tuarastal an Dochtúra Réitigh; agus Iocaíochtanna iolardha i dtaobh Pinsean a íocann an Rialtas Briotáineach fé láthair.
That a sum not exceeding £594,295 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1929, for Pensions, Superannuation, Compensation, Compassionate and Additional Allowances and Gratuities, etc., under Sundry Statutes; Compensation under Article 10 of the Treaty of the 6th December, 1921; Compassionate Allowances, Gratuities and Supplementary Pensions awarded by the Minister for Finance; the Salary of the Medical Referee; and sundry Repayments in respect of Pensions at present paid by the British Government.
The first two sub-heads of this Vote relate to ordinary pensions and allowances that are paid to civil servants retired since the change of Government. Sub-head B covers the lump sum allowances that are paid. Under the Superannuation Act of 1859 superannuation allowances were paid on the basis of one-sixtieth of the officers' annual salary, subject to a maximum of forty-sixtieths or two-thirds. By the Superannuation Act of 1909, under which certain civil servants came by opting, and under which all male civil servants employed since September, 1909, come automatically, a change was effected and civil servants were paid on a basis of eightieths with a lump sum allowance, called an additional allowance, which may amount as a maximum to one-and-a-half times the annual salary of the civil servant retiring. It also provided that in the case of the death of a civil servant while serving, a sum not exceeding the annual amount of his salary might be paid to his legal representatives. Under this sub-head also provision is made for gratuities that are paid to established female civil servants who resign on marriage. The amount paid is one month's pay in respect of each year of service, the maximum being twelve month's pay, and it is only paid in the case of a civil servant who has a minimum of six years' service.
The next sub-heads, C and D, relate to pensions allowance and gratuities payable under the Treaty. Awards under the Treaty have been held up for a considerable time, first because the Chairman of the Committee, Judge Wylie, who had made the assessments, resigned. Then, before a successor had been found, civil servants, who had been in litigation with the Minister for Finance, carried an appeal to the Privy Council, and it was found, while that case was pending, impossible to obtain any judicial officer who would act as chairman of the Committee. A certain decision was given by the Privy Council in the matter which, in the opinion of this Government, was an unfair and incorrect judgment.
The British Government agreed that the judgement given by the Privy Council did not carry out the intention of Article 10 of the Treaty, and they agreed with the Government of the Free State that the burden which that judgement would have thrown upon the taxpayers of this country did not rightly fall upon them. The British Government themselves subsequently referred the general matter that had been at issue in the case to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and so far no further action has been taken in regard to it. The sums, therefore, that are voted under Sub-head D are, to a considerable extent, a re-Vote.
Sub-head E—"Compassionate Gratuities" are paid in the case of unestablished civil servants not eligible for pensions under the Superannuation Acts. But Section 4 of the Superannuation Act of 1887 authorises the Minister for Finance to pay gratuities, not exceeding £1 or one week's pay, whichever is the greater, for each year of service to whole-time officials paid from voted moneys who retire on the ground of ill-health or who are discharged from their office. The provision under Sub-head F for "Extra Statutory Grants" covers payments made in certain rather exceptional cases where acute distress exists. For instance, in the case of a Gárda killed in the execution of his duty payment might be made to his dependents. Sub-head G is "Injury Grants." Sub-head J covers pensions made to resigned or discharged members of the R.I.C. under the Superannuation and Pensions Act, 1923. The number of pensions is shown on page 74 of the Estimates. Sub-head L shows ordinary pensions of the members of the amalgamated police forces. It includes the old Dublin Metropolitan Police. Sub-head LL includes the Treaty payments to members of the D.M.P. who resigned or were discharged since the change of Government. The numbers discharged were two, a Chief Commissioner and an Assistant Commissioner. In addition to those who were discharged, 576 members resigned in consequence of change of Government—13 inspectors, 129 station sergeants and sergeants, and 434 constables.
Sub-head M includes repayment to the British Government in respect of civil pensions. As Deputies will see in Part III of the Estimate on page 75 the exact portion of the expenditure repayable by the Saorstát has not yet been fixed, and the payments set out in the Estimate are provisional. It includes for Inland Revenue pensions £5,250 roughly, for Customs and Excise £41,700, and the remainder for other pensions. The last item is the repayment to the British Government in respect of the ordinary pensions and disbandment pensions of the Royal Irish Constabulary. The Saorstát payment is based on a proportion of 75 per cent. of the total. That figure was arrived at after consideration of the proportion of members of the Royal Irish Constabulary who were serving in the Saorstát during the period of 19 or 20 years prior to the change of Government. For instance, in 1901 the number serving in the Saorstát area was 78.59, in the next year 77.68, then 77.65, 76.86, 76, 75, 76, 77, 77.3, 77.4, 77.05; in 1912, 74; in 1913, 73; in 1914, 74.15; in 1915, 74,68, and so on, rising up to 77.86 in 1920.
On previous Estimate discussions the question of the auditing of these pensions was raised. So far the position has been that we accept the certificate of the British Comptroller and Auditor-General, but there is a right. It is admitted that the Comptroller and Auditor-General here may himself or by his officer inspect the accounts and documents and test the accuracy of the British certificate. The Comptroller and Auditor-General so far has not judged it necessary to do so. It was really a matter for him whether he would, as a check, conduct himself the audit of the ex-R.I.C. pension payments.