Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Tuesday, 18 May 1993

Vol. 430 No. 8

Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

Richard Bruton


119 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will make a statement on the right of social welfare recipients, who have been underpaid since 1986 as a result of the way in which the EC Equality Rules were introduced in Ireland, in view of the fact that some solicitors are asking social welfare recipients to sign up binding agreements, which would surrender part of their rights to arrears.

The Government has provided equality of treatment in respect of the period of delay in implementing EC Directive 79/7. The necessary provisions are contained in the European Communities (Social Welfare) Regulations, 1992, S.I. No. 152 of 1992.

The regulations provide for payment of increased rates of benefit, extended duration of unemployment benefit, increases for dependants in the form of a household supplement and unemployment assistance. Under the provisions of the regulations, payments are being made on a phased basis over the period 1992 to 1994.

About 85,000 claims have been received by my Department. These are being processed at present and payments are being made to the married women concerned as of right. Consequently, there is no need for any married woman to engage the services of a solicitor to secure her legal entitlements.