Dáil Éireann - Volume 415 - 30 January, 1992

Written Answers. - Equal Treatment Directive.

24. Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will outline the current number of applications received by his Department from women who believe they are entitled to payment of arrears of social welfare under the EC Equality Directive (Social Welfare No. 2 Act, 1985).

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. Daly): Claims received by my Department for arrears of payment arising from the [690] Equal Treatment Directive are held centrally and at the various local offices of the Department throughout the country. In addition, several thousand other claims have been made by way of court proceedings, which may overlap with claims received directly in the Department. Statistics of the current number of applications are not available.

As announced by the Minister for Finance in his Budget Statement the Government have decided to provide for equality of treatment in respect of the period of the delay in implementing the Directive. A sum of £22 million has been made available in 1992 for the purpose of making retrospective payments.

Details of the measures to be introduced will be announced in the near future and measures will be taken to ensure that all qualified persons will have their claims for arrears of payment duly processed. Payments will be made on a phased basis over the period 1992 to 1994.