Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Food Voucher Scheme.

Wednesday, 10 December 1941

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 85 No. 9

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Mr. Keyes: Information on Michael J. Keyes  Zoom on Michael J. Keyes  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he is prepared to consider the provision of food vouchers for single men in receipt of unemployment assistance; and, if so, when the necessary steps will be taken for that purpose.

Mr. Hickey: Information on James Hickey  Zoom on James Hickey  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether it is his intention to extend to unemployed men in rural areas the scheme of food vouchers now applied to unemployed men in incorporated towns; and, if so, whether that decision will be implemented before the end of the present year.

Mr. Hickey: Information on James Hickey  Zoom on James Hickey  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether it is his intention to extend to widows residing in rural areas, who are in receipt of widows' pensions, the scheme of food vouchers now applied to widows residing in incorporated towns; and, if so, whether he will take [1321] steps to bring the extended scheme into operation by the end of this year.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I propose to take Questions Nos. 16, 17 and 19 together. It is not at present proposed to extend the scope of the Food Allowances Scheme so as to include additional classes or areas.

Mr. Keyes: Information on Michael J. Keyes  Zoom on Michael J. Keyes  Having regard to the considerable numbers of unemployed who have been excluded, by the conscriptive use of the Construction Corps, from the receipt of benefit, does the Minister not consider that single men who are still allowed to draw it and who have dependents are entitled to some consideration in the matter of food vouchers?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  It is not proposed to extend the scope of the scheme at present.

Mr. Hickey: Information on James Hickey  Zoom on James Hickey  asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he is prepared to consider favourably extending the scope of the food voucher scheme so as to make available to families, which include more than five children, additional quantities of bread, milk, etc., in respect of each child in excess of five.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  It is not proposed to make the change suggested by the Deputy.

Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  Does the Minister not agree that justice demands that there should be a greater food allowance where the family is larger, that there should be additional quantities allowed where there is a family of nine children as compared with a family of five?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Apart from other considerations, there would be considerable practical difficulties in extending the number of food vouchers to families in receipt of unemployment assistance, having regard to the provisions of the Unemployment Assistance Acts. There has been no calculation of the number of dependants of claimants beyond the maximum provided for in those Acts.

[1322]Mr. Norton: Information on William Norton  Zoom on William Norton  Is it not obviously unfair that a family of nine children should get only the same allowance as a family of five? I think that anomaly ought to be rectified as soon as possible.


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