Dáil Éireann - Volume 600 - 13 April, 2005

Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

  205. Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if he will extend the back to school clothing and footwear allowance to include the orphan’s payment as a qualifying payment. [11300/05]

  Mr. Brennan: The back to school clothing and footwear allowance scheme assists persons in receipt of certain payments when children start school each autumn.

The scheme operates from the beginning of June to the end of September each year and is administered on my behalf by the Health Service Executive. In 2004, 70,577 applications were approved under the scheme which benefited some 152,400 children at a cost of €17.028 million. The allocation for 2005 is €18 million.

While there are no immediate plans to extend the allowance to recipients of other payments, such as orphan’s pension and allowances, I intend to keep this area under regular review for consideration in a budgetary context.

[939]   206. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the reason a person (details supplied) in County Mayo is not in receipt of the free television licence. [11336/05]

  Mr. Brennan: The person concerned was awarded the household benefits package, including the free lifetime television licence, and An Post was informed accordingly.

The address on the An Post database for the person concerned did not match the address forwarded by my Department and the licence issued to the address held by An Post. My Department has contacted An Post which has amended its records and a free lifetime television licence will issue as soon as possible to the correct address.