Wednesday, 18 December 1974
Dáil Eireann Debate
That a sum not exceeding £4,168,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the period commencing on the 1st day of April, 1974, and ending on the 31st day of December, 1974, for pensions, superannuation, compensation (including workmen's compensation), and additional and other allowances and gratuities under the Superannuation Acts 1834 to 1963 awarded by the Minister for the Public Service; fees to medical referees and occasional fees to doctors; compensation and other payments in respect of personal injuries; etc.
Mr. R. Ryan: Superannuation allowances, compensation allowances, pensions and certain children's allowances payable to civil servants, payments under the civil service widows' and children's contributory pension scheme, ex gratia pensions for widows and children of certain former officers, additional allowances and gratuities in respect of established officers, compensation allowances under Article 10 of the Treaty of 1921, pensions, allowances and gratuities in respect of unestablished officers and other persons, injury grants, medical fees, pensions to resigned and dismissed Royal Irish Constabulary, including their widows.
Mr. Colley: I thank the Minister for that information, Could I urge him to take a special personal interest in  this? I want to preface what I am about to say by saying that when I was in his office I experienced the same difficulty and what I am about to say is not a criticism of the Minister personally. I have come across a number of cases where there was an inordinate delay in paying pensions, gratuities or increases in pensions which were due. By inordinate I mean a matter of maybe six months after a person had retired, not having received a penny. Such cases happened in my time in office and I have come across such cases since the present Minister assumed office. I know the difficulties that are involved for the Minister concerned particularly if the matter is not drawn to his attention but in some cases there appears to be a lack of concern with the human problems involved here that disturbs me and I would urge the Minister personally to try to ensure that no undue delay takes place in payment of pensions, gratuities or increases due in pensions.
Mr. R. Ryan: I share the Deputy's anxiety that these delays should not occur. Whenever they have been brought to my attention I have endeavoured as, indeed whenever they were brought to his he endeavoured, if he could, to have a payment made on account so that a person was not left without any pay while the precise award was being determined. If any of these come to the attention of the Deputy, to any other Member of the House or member of the public I would be glad to know of them so that efforts can be made to expedite them. There can, of course, be complications in the application of specific rules which may cause delays in working out the refinements but where it is established that a substantial part is beyond dispute I would be in favour of paying that part.
Mr. Colley: The kind of point I have in mind is if a particular civil servant who deals with these things is out sick something ought to be done about it and not leave the pensioners or would-be pensioners waiting.
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