Wednesday, 16 June 1965
Dáil Eireann Debate
Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. Boland): Up to 1st April, 1965, 12,911 claims to old age (contributory) pension were disallowed on the ground that the claimants failed to satisfy the contribution conditions for the award of this pension.
Mr. James Tully: Surely the Minister will agree that it is feasible, although it might not be desirable from the Minister's point of view. Surely he will agree that people disqualified, people who have the necessary number of stamps and were excluded from the scheme by Ministerial Order——
Mr. James Tully: Under an Order made by the Minister. Surely the Minister is aware that if a record of stamps is needed his Department can supply it back to 1932. If that is so, it should be possible to check stamps for the purpose of qualifying for the old age pension.
Mr. Ryan: asked the Minister for Social Welfare if, having regard to the fact that the last census figures disclose that 10.4 per cent of persons aged seventy years and over are living alone, he will increase the old age pensions paid to persons who are living on their own.
Mr. Boland: In my view the most equitable basis for granting old age pensions is that provided for in the Old Age Pensions Acts, namely, that the highest pensions are granted to those with the smallest means.
Mr. Ryan: Is the Minister aware of the recent sociologist's report which  indicates that after paying necessary outgoings—light, rent, fuel and clothing—the balance left to an old age pensioner is insufficient to provide him with a diet sufficient to prevent malnutrition? Having regard to the fact that an old age pensioner is living on his own and has no other source of income, does the Minister not consider that a special case has now been made for immediately increasing pensions to old age pensioners living alone?
Mr. Boland: I am making provision in the Social Welfare Bill that will be before the House shortly for the giving of higher rates of pension to old age pensioners with smaller means than those who are at present entitled to the maximum.
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