Dáil Éireann - Volume 278 - 20 February, 1975

Ceisteanna-Questions. Oral Answers. - Self-Employed Insurance Scheme.

[1023] 47. Mr. Crinion asked the Minister for Social Welfare when he will implement an insurance scheme for self-employed people.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. Cluskey): The question of providing appropriate social insurance cover for the self-employed is being examined in connection with the preparation of a Green Paper on a national income-related pension scheme which it is proposed to publish later this year. It is hoped that the Green Paper will lead to a full public discussion of the matter before proposals for legislation are prepared.

Mr. Crinion: Is it a question of months or will it be towards the end of the year that the Green Paper will be issued?

Mr. Cluskey: I could not tie myself to a definite date but I hope it will be in the middle of the year.

Mr. Crinion: I think the Parliamentary Secretary has got clearance from Brussels with regard to the proposals put to them towards the middle of last year in connection with this. This was a reply I was given to a similar question this time last year. I was told proposals were being put to the EEC Commission in Brussels.

Mr. Cluskey: I cannot recall offhand the Deputy's question of last year. The present preparation of a Green Paper does not require any clearance from the EEC. It is completely within our own competence to publish the Green Paper and indeed to formulate legislation that might be necessary as a result of whatever is finally decided in this connection. The Deputy may be referring to the possibility of some assistance from the social insurance funds towards people who are not covered or who are, as they describe it, inadequately covered. It is not actually directly related to these proposals.

Mr. Lalor: Will there be any provision in the Green Paper for unemployment [1024] benefit for the category of people to whom the question refers?

Mr. Cluskey: It would be premature for me to give any indication of that aspect of it but all aspects of coverage are being examined.