Dáil Éireann - Volume 474 - 29 January, 1997

Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

163. Mr. J. Walsh asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will allocate additional resources in [227] order that a greater contribution is made to his Department by liable relatives in the case of deserting partners. [2624/97]

Minister for Social Welfare (Proinsias De Rossa): As I indicated in my written reply of 19 December 1996 to a question from the Deputy, work associated with securing compliance with maintenance orders is an integral part of the administration of the relevant schemes which involves about 45 staff. Six of these staff deal directly with the liability to maintain family provisions in the Social Welfare Acts.

A new scheme, the one-parent family payment, which was introduced at the beginning of this month, replaces the separate schemes of deserted wife's benefit, deserted wife's allowance, lone parent's allowance and prisoners' wives' allowance. The operation of the liability to maintain family provisions is under review in the context of this new scheme. The staffing levels on this work will be re-assessed in the light of the work plans arising from the operational review and the implementation of the new scheme.