Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cork Municipal Blind Welfare Scheme.

asked the Minister for Finance if he is aware (1) that the Cork Borough Council has in operation a municipal blind welfare scheme under which pensions are paid to necessitous blind persons, and (2) that such allowances made under the scheme are taken into account in the reckoning of means when the rate of pension is being fixed, and (3) if he proposes to introduce proposals for legislation with a view to securing that qualified blind persons shall receive the full State pension without reduction because of the allowance received from the corporation.

Arrangements for promoting the welfare of blind persons are in operation in the Cork County Borough. Grants made to blind persons under the welfare scheme are reckoned in calculating the means of such persons for old age pension purposes. As regards the question of proposals for legislation, I refer the Deputy to the answers given to similar questions addressed by Deputy Norton to the Minister for Local Government and Public Health on the 10th November, 1937; 1st December, 1937; 14th December, 1937, and 2nd February, 1938.

Is the Minister aware that up to and including the 10th or 11th January last, these moneys have been paid out, and that they will continue to be paid out, until the 1st April, because the following item appears in a report of the Law and Finance Committee of the Cork Corporation:

"Directed that, as from the 1st April next, the weekly allowances payable to persons under the corporation scheme for the welfare of the blind be reduced in each case by the difference between their State blind pensions and ten shillings"?

I want to ask the Minister was there a new order issued within the last couple of months?

I am afraid I do not know exactly what is the question Deputy Anthony wishes to address to me. It seems to me that he has put at least two questions.

The reason I asked the Minister the question is that hitherto the pensions have been paid without reduction.

Not hitherto, if the Deputy refers to the last couple of years.

If not, why is it that this direction comes from the Minister: "Directed that as from the 1st April next"? The "hitherto" still remains, if the money has been paid hitherto.

Might I suggest to the Deputy that he should put his question on the Order Paper, and I shall do my best to answer it?