Dáil Éireann - Volume 315 - 26 June, 1979

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - UK Pensioners.

6. Mr. Bruton asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will make a report on the discussions which took place on 14 June with UK officials in relation to the level of payments to UK pensioners resident in Ireland.

Mr. Haughey: At the discussions referred to in the question all aspects of the problem were considered in detail, having regard to both the issue of principle and the practical problems involved.

Certain possible solutions are being further examined by the Departments concerned, and it may be necessary to [873] resume the discussions in the near future.

I am not, therefore, in a position to make a statement on the matter at this stage.

Mr. Bruton: When is the next meeting likely to take place?

Mr. Haughey: None is fixed at the moment, but discussions are going on between the two Departments.

Mr. Bruton: Have the official side made any proposals in the matter?

Mr. Haughey: Yes, we have made a number of suggestions. I would prefer the Deputy not to press me on this at the moment because it is the subject of confidential discussions between the two Departments.

Mr. Bruton: Will the Minister agree that as well as being the subject of confidential discussions it is also the subject of great concern to UK pensioners in Ireland who will not get their pensions?

An Ceann Comhairle: Question No. 7.

Mr. Bruton: At least in relation to his own side will the Minister set some time limit for the conclusion of these negotiations?

Mr. Haughey: Unfortunately I cannot do that, but I can assure the Deputy that the best efforts are being made from this side of the Irish Sea.

Mr. Bruton: Will the Minister seek the payment of a retrospective payment to the 30,000 UK residents who are losing out as a result of our entry to the EMS?

Mr. Haughey: I cannot comment on the details.

Mr. Bruton: Has the Minister made any significant progress?

Mr. Haughey: I have.