Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Seanad Éireann díospóireacht -
Thursday, 7 Jun 1923

Vol. 1 No. 25



The question is "That the Unemployment Insurance Bill, 1923, be considered on Report."

On reading the reports this morning of the discussion here yesterday, I find that some figures which I gave here yesterday were mixed up in the Press reports, and as I think it well that the general public should understand the financial aspects, from the State point of view of this Bill, I would like permission to re-quote these figures.


I understand you to say that these figures are not accurately reported. You wish to clear up the discrepancy?

Yes. I do not wish to provoke any discussion. I was simply quoting figures as given to us by the Minister at the last sitting. He said that over and above all contributions made by employers and employees Unemployment Insurance is costing the State £250,000 per annum, in addition to £100,000 for administration, and that the contributions for the employers and employees amounted to £35,000 per month, which would amount to £420,000 per annum. Yesterday in quoting those figures I said that roughly to arrive at the contribution by the employees that you might divide that £420,000 by 2, as half would be contributed by the employees, and the other half by the employers. That would leave the figures to stand in this way: that the total cost to the State of Unemployment Insurance, together with administration, amounts to nearly £800,000 per annum, and that of this total amount the employees or workers contribute about £200,000 per annum, so that, from the point of view of insurance, for every £ they contribute they are getting back £3 along with it.

In view of the statement of Senator Kenny that I had stated the Unemployment Insurance Fund was to cost the State £250,000 per annum, I think the Senator probably misunderstood what I did say. I stated that in the present Bill we have to borrow £250,000 from the Central Fund. It does not follow that Unemployment Insurance is going to cost the State £250,000, because that money must be paid back when the Unemployment Fund shall come into credit again. That will only be a loan from the Central Fund. I may also point out in connection with the same matter that if some of the corporate bodies who owe the Fund between £50,000 and £60,000 had honoured their obligations to the Fund we would not need to borrow quite such a large sum as £250,000 from the Central Fund, but something under £200,000. Moreover, the Senator points out that this Unemployment Insurance—on the figures which he has made out and which I do not accept—is costing the State £800,000. The Senator will recollect that up to the present the times have been abnormal, but in normal times the Unemployment Insurance Fund did not cost the State anything like that amount. The £550,000 which we have already borrowed from the Central Fund, plus the £250,000 which we purpose to borrow under this Bill, must be paid back to the Central Fund when the Unemployment Insurance Fund again comes into credit. It is hardly fair, it is hardly correct, that the public should assume from the Senator's remarks that Unemployment Insurance Benefit is costing £800,000 per year. It is not.

I accept the Minister's statement, but I took down at the time in writing the figures that were given.

Question put and agreed to.
Bill put through its Final Stage and passed.