The word was used on a couple of occasions, if not by a couple of speakers, in the sense that the Minister, in his administrative handling of this particular provision, has so acted that the money will be made available to the people before the feast of Christmas, so I may be excused for regarding this particular provision as having something of an intimate association with the Christmas festival.
I ask the Minister now to take advantage of this Money Resolution to drop these penny-halfpenny and two-pence-halfpenny calculations which have been gone through on the Second Reading, to do the decent thing in this matter and give a lump sum of an equal amount to every beneficiary who, he has indicated, will benefit, due to this Bill. It is evident that nobody in this House, so far as we can judge from the speeches, is going to ask for any division on this. The humiliation involved in having to walk through the Lobbies of this House and vote for this measure would be far greater than the callousness displayed by the person who would vote against it. It is the meanness and miserliness of it that I am objecting to here.
After all, it is only one payment and the Tánaiste, at least, has some sense of humour and sufficient sagacity to avoid the grotesque by not having this payment made weekly. Seeing that it is to be made only in one lump sum, I think the Minister ought to do the decent thing, seeing that it is the season of Christmas, and increase that lump sum from £250,000, to £500,000. After all, the Government was able to find £1,000,000 of back money, which we said was not there, to pay several categories of public servants. The money was not there and the Government has had to put the State in pawn to find that £1,000,000 and other commitments. Here is a limited number of categories of very deserving people and I think this is a very mean way of dealing with them. It would be far better not to have brought them in at all.