Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 3 Dec 1947

Vol. 109 No. 3

Committee on Finance. - Garda Síochána Pensions Bill, 1947—Money Resolution.

I move:—

That it is expedient to authorise such payments out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas as are necessary to give effect to any Act of the present session to provide for the adjustment of pensions, allowances and gratuities of or in respect of certain members or former members of the Garda Síochána.

I asked the Minister for Justice on a previous occasion whether he proposed to do anything for the Garda widows and my recollection is that at the moment he did not find himself in a position to give any definite reply, though I imagine that both he and the Minister for Finance are aware of the fact that a somewhat anomalous situation exists in respect of these widows. I believe that what the Minister for Justice said to me was that the matter of my query was more a matter for the Minister for public Health. In fact, I think, the Minister for Justice is mistaken. My submission is that provision ought to be made in any Garda Síochána Bill introduced at this time which would cover the anomaly that exists in regard to widows' pensions. I find myself being made the victim of a not infrequent inter-departmental device and that is being sent running from one Minister to the other.

Ordinarily, members of the Garda Síochána would be people who would stamp national health insurance cards. But, when the Garda Síochána Act was passed in 1925, for some good and sufficient reason it was decided to exclude them from that scheme; I suppose because there was a scheme within the force for the protection of their health. But it was not anticipated then that, linked up with the national health insurance scheme, would be the widows' and orphans' pension scheme. Garda widows' pensions were fixed on a certain basis in relation to the pay of the Gardaí, but, whereas every other analogous employee acquires, by virtue of his national health insurance stamps, the right to a contributory pension under the widows' and orphans' pension scheme, all reference to the income of a Garda's widow is left out.

That might have been raised on the Second Stage. Under this resolution, money is being voted for the Bill only.

My difficulty is that I am running from Billy to Jack. When the Minister for Justice is here, he tells me that I must raise it with the Minister for Health. If I raise it when the Minister for Health is here, he tells me I must raise it when the Minister for Finance is here. They all manage to give me the go-by. I am taking them seriatim. I venture to say that if I wait until the Minister for Health is here, he will ask me: “What responsibility have I with regard to the Garda Síochána? I cannot bring them under the National Health Insurance Act.”

Why did Deputy Dillon not try to bring it in on the Second Stage? He did on the First Stage.

It is not relevant now?

It is a Second Stage matter.

I wish to support the idea, put forward by Deputy Dillon, as I also raised the question of Guards' widows who are getting sufficient to deprive them of other benefits.

The Deputy will have noticed that Deputy Dillon sat down when he was convinced that it was not in order.

I always do.

Question put and agreed to.
Resolution reported and agreed to.