Dáil Éireann - Volume 374 - 28 October, 1987
Written Answers. - Means Testing.
Mr. J. Bruton Mr. J. Bruton
53. Mr. J. Bruton asked the Taoiseach if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a British Study The Reform of Social Security by Dilnot, Kay and Morris, published by the Institute of Fiscal Studies, page 44, estimated that the administrative cost of operating the means test for supplementary benefit was 10 pence for every pound paid out; the calculations, if any, he has done in respect of each of the means tested schemes or income thresholds operated by his  Department or by agencies under his aegis; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Mr. J. Bruton Mr. J. Bruton
54. Mr. J. Bruton asked the Taoiseach if he, or any body under his aegis, operates means tests or income thresholds for any purpose, for example tax exemption, eligibility for charge or benefit, in respect of such means test or income thresholds (a) the levels at which they operate and the period over which they are assessed (b) if account is taken of the income of a spouse and, if so, the way in which this has been done; (c) if account is taken of the income of other household members; and if so, the way in which this has been done (d) if account is taken of the costs of maintaining dependent children or other dependants (e) if any income, for example, social welfare payments, or the imputed value of home ownership is ignored or discounted in any way (f) if the value of property, real or personal, is included and, if so, the basis on which it is included (g) when the levels were last revised in line with inflation and (h) if there is a distinction in the way the means test operates between a couple who are married and a couple living together but not married.
The Taoiseach Charles J. Haughey
The Taoiseach: The Arts Council operates a means test as one of the elements in determining the award of Cnuais, currently £5,300 per year. The applicants — who must already be members of Aosdána — must satisfy the Council that no position of emolument, whether wholetime or part-time, is held other than one concerned exclusively with creative work. In addition, their income must be less than £5,000, averaged over a number of years, usually between two and five years. The income of the applicant for a Cnuais is the sole income of which account is taken. The level of the means test has not been revised since the inception of the scheme.
With regard to the Council's awarding of bursaries, scholarships and travel grants, while the artistic considerations are the principal criteria, the financial  circumstances of the applicants are considered.
As the administrative cost of operating the means test for the payment of a Cnuas is negligible, the need for the calculation referred to by the Deputy does not arise.
Ní bhaineann Roinn na Gaeltachta ná na heagrais faoina scáth feidhm as tástála maoine nó teorainneacha ioncaim d'aon chuspóir.
Dáil Éireann 374 Written Answers. Means Testing.