Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Seanad Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 17 Dec 1958

Vol. 50 No. 4

Social Welfare (Amendment) Bill, 1958—Committee and Final Stages.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Before we take up consideration of the Committee Stage of this Bill, I should like to indicate that I consider the amendment standing in the name of Senator O'Quigley as being out of order on the following grounds:—

(1) that it is outside the scope of the Bill as read a Second Time; and

(2) that it tends to impose a charge on State funds.

The Senator has been notified of my decision.

Sections 1 to 4, inclusive, agreed to.
Title agreed to.
Agreed to take remaining stages now.
Bill reported without amendment and received for final consideration.
Question proposed: "That the Bill do now pass".

I attempted to rectify a particular situation in relation to voluntary contributors, but that is now ruled upon. In relation to what is now contained in the Bill, may I say there are a number of people brought in who could have been voluntary contributors but are now being made compulsory contributors? I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary if he will consider taking more effective steps to bring to the notice of people, when they first become compulsory contributors, that they are entitled to become voluntary contributors. On the Second Stage the Parliamentary Secretary said that the maximum publicity had been given to the entitlement of people to become voluntary contributors. I must confess that I get three daily newspapers and I am fairly well acquainted with the social welfare code, but never once have I seen any notice from the Department of Social Welfare or any notice in a post office or any other public building touching upon this point. I do not know what the nature of the publicity has been, but in view of the fact that it is now appreciated there are considerable benefits attaching to people becoming voluntary contributors, I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary to take much more effective steps to publicise the value of this form of insurance and bring home to people the circumstances and conditions which are necessary to enable them avail of it.

As an employer, I have never seen any circular sent out pointing out the advantages of this provision. I want to support Senator O'Quigley. The widest publicity ought to be given to it and it should be effective publicity.

There is a leaflet explaining this and it is also set out on the insurance cards. I suppose nobody reads insurance cards, but they should.

We only stamp them.

Even the employer should read the insurance card.

There is one point——

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

I shall not allow a Second Reading debate.

May I put it this way: are insurance cards on which this notice is printed given to public officials? I think the answer is in the negative.

They are not.

They are not insurable persons.

Question put and agreed to.