Committee on Finance. - Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 1965: Money Resolution.


Go bhfuil sé oiriúnach cibé íocaíochtaí as airgead a sholáthróidh an tOireachtas a údarú is gá chun éifeacht a thabhairt d'aon Acht a rithfear sa seisiún seo do leasú agus do leathnú Achtanna na bPinsean Seanaoise, 1908 go 1964, na nAchtanna um Chúnamh Dífhostaíochta, 1933 go 1964, na nAchtanna um Pinsin do Bhaintreacha agus do Dhílleachtaí, 1935 go 1964, na nAchtanna Leasa Shóisialaigh (Liúntais Leanaí), 1944 go 1963, agus na nAchtanna Leasa Shóisialaigh, 1952 go 1964.

I had a great deal which I wished to say but, due to certain arrangements that have been made, it is not possible for me to do anything but very briefly make certain remarks. I had amendments down which have been ruled out of order by the Ceann Comhairle. I, of course, accept his rulings.

We on this side of the House raised in the course of the discussions on the Budget and on this Bill the fact that the increases which were given in the Budget and which are now given under the Social Welfare Bill to recipients of old age pensions, and social welfare assistance of various kinds, will be taken away from them in many cases by different administrative decisions. I refer in particular to the case of people who are, in addition, in receipt of home assistance which we are quite convinced will in many cases be reduced because the recipients of pensions or social assistance of one sort or another will get some increases under the legislation we are now about to enact. Similarly, in cases I know of already, persons living in local authority houses subject to differential rent schemes will have their rents increased because of the increases in pensions and in social assistance which these people are to get.

I fear that would not arise on the Money Resolution. On the Money Resolution, all that is before the House is the money being granted.

I shall not delay the House or get into an argument with you, Sir, as to whether or not I am entitled to raise this matter. We on these benches have very carefully considered the amendments. We believed it was necessary to amend the Bill but these amendments were not permitted by reason of the rules of procedure of this House. We have to accept that. We shall very carefully consider the provisions of this Bill and, if necessary, we shall bring in a Private Member's Bill if, in fact, we find that persons who should get these increases are not getting the full benefit of them because of action being taken through home assistance being reduced or differential rents being increased. This is a very real danger. We very much regret the Minister has not put a section into the Bill to deal with hardship cases which may develop.

As this is a Money Resolution, I think it is not out of place to comment in a general way on it.

No; the Deputy would not be in order to comment in a general way. All that is before the House is the money being voted in the Resolution.

It is rather late in the day to argue with you, Sir.

I have no reason to believe that it is intended by any local authority to reduce home assistance because of the increases that are being provided in this Bill and, therefore, I see no reason to assume that that is likely to happen. It has not happened in the past and I do not know what private information Deputy Costello has as to the likelihood of its happening now. With regard to the question of the differential rents, I fail to see how I could be expected to legislate in a Social Welfare Bill on a matter which is within the province of the local authority.

Would the Minister consider taking this up at Government level, if what I say should happen?

It is a matter for the corporation and Deputy Declan Costello ought to know that.

Would the Minister not think it desirable to stop the corporation doing it?

What the local authorities do has nothing to do with me.

What Deputy Costello has said is correct.

Money Resolution agreed to.

Resolution reported and agreed to.