asked the Minister for Finance whether it is intended to introduce proposals for legislation to amend the Civil Service Superannuation Acts to permit of the payment of a compassionate gratuity to persons who have rendered less than fifteen years' service, and who are not eligible for pensions under the Acts; and, if so, when it is expected that the legislation will be introduced.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Civil Service Superannuation Acts.
The answer to the first part of the Deputy's question is in the affirmative. It has been agreed, following discussions with representatives of the civil service staffs under the machinery of conciliation and arbitration, to introduce legislation to allow payment of compassionate gratuities after seven years' service, instead of 15 years' service, as previously required. Amending legislation will be introduced this year.
In view of the fact that a number of widows whose husbands served for more than seven years but less than 15 years in the service of the State were denied the compassionate gratuities because their husbands had not the 15 years' service, could the Minister say whether these claims could be met by payment of the gratuities in anticipation of the necessary legislation, particularly since widows are involved?
I could not undertake that on behalf of the Minister for Finance. I know that he is sympathetic and that as quickly as possible he proposes to introduce the necessary legislation.
Where these compassionate gratuities are due to widows who have lost their bread winners would it be possible to pay the gratuities on account pending introduction of the legislation?
I understand the Minister is sympathetic and a proposal has been made to try and make some arrangement to pay gratuities to people properly entitled to them ahead of legislation. I do not know whether it will be possible or not.