6 1976

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Number 6 of 1976


SOCIAL WELFARE ACT, 1976


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Definitions.

2.

Old age pensions (new rates).

3.

Unemployment assistance (new rates).

4.

Amendment of section 8 of Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1965.

5.

Widows' (non-contributory) pensions, deserted wife's allowance, social assistance allowance for unmarried mothers and prisoner's wife's allowance (new rates).

6.

Orphans' (non-contributory) pensions (new rates).

7.

Single woman's allowance (new rates).

8.

Old age (care) allowance (new rate).

9.

Social insurance benefits (new rates).

10.

Increase of certain rates of unemployment benefit.

11.

Extension of period of unemployment benefit.

12.

Amendments of Social Welfare (Pay-Related Benefit) Act, 1973.

13.

Employment contributions (new rates).

14.

Voluntary contributions (new rates).

15.

Voluntary contributions (new rates for certain persons).

16.

Occupational injuries benefits (new rates and contributions).

17.

Amendment of section 26 of Act of 1952 (additional benefit for adult dependants).

18.

Amendment of section 27 of Act of 1952 (increases of benefit—qualified children).

19.

Amendment of section 20 of Act of 1935 (rates of widows' (non-contriburory) pensions).

20.

Short title, construction and collective citation.

Acts Referred to

Social Welfare Act, 1952

1952, No. 11

Social Welfare (Occupational Injuries) Act, 1966

1966, No. 16

Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1967

1967, No. 18

Social Welfare Act, 1975

1975, No. 1

Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1969

1969, No. 19

Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1965

1965, No. 20

Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1962

1962, No. 17

Social Welfare Act, 1973

1973, No. 10

Social Welfare (No. 2) Act, 1974

1974, No. 14

Social Welfare Act, 1970

1970, No. 12

Social Welfare (Pay-Related Benefit) Act, 1973

1973, No. 2

Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1963

1963, No. 26

Unemployment Assistance Act, 1933

1933, No. 46

Widows' and Orphans' Pensions Act, 1935

1935, No. 29

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Number 6 of 1976


SOCIAL WELFARE ACT, 1976


AN ACT TO AMEND AND EXTEND THE OLD AGE PENSIONS ACTS, 1908 TO 1975, THE UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE ACTS, 1933 TO 1975, THE WIDOWS' AND ORPHANS' PENSIONS ACTS, 1935 TO 1975 AND THE SOCIAL WELFARE ACTS, 1952 TO 1975. [29th March, 1976]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

Definitions.

1. —In this Act—

the Act of 1933” means the Unemployment Assistance Act, 1933 ;

the Act of 1935” means the Widows' and Orphans' Pensions Act, 1935 ;

the Act of 1952” means the Social Welfare Act, 1952 ;

the Act of 1966” means the Social Welfare (Occupational Injuries) Act, 1966 ;

the Act of 1967” means the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1967 ;

the Act of 1975” means the Social Welfare Act, 1975 ;

the Regulations of 1975” means the Social Welfare (Variation of Rates of Payment) Regulations, 1975 (S.I. No. 215 of 1975).

Old age pensions (new rates).

2. —(1) Section 77 of the Act of 1952 is hereby amended by—

(a) the substitution for subsection (2) (inserted by the Act of 1975) of the following subsection :

“(2) (a) A pension shall, in lieu of any other rate, be—

(i) where the weekly means of the claimant or pensioner do not exceed £15—at the rate set out in Table A to this subsection,

(ii) where the weekly means of the claimant or pensioner exceed £15—at the rate at which, in accordance with that Table, the pension would be payable if the weekly means of the claimant or pensioner exceeded £14 but did not exceed £15, less £1.10 for each amount (if any) of £1 by which those weekly means exceed £15, any fraction of £1 in those weekly means being treated for this purpose as £1; provided that if the rate calculated pursuant to this paragraph at which, but for this proviso, the pension would be payable is less than 50 new pence, the pension shall not be payable,

(iii) where the pensioner has attained the age of 80 years—at the rate of pension payable to him in accordance with subparagraph (i) or (ii) of this paragraph plus 80 new pence,

and the rate of pension so determined shall be increased, where the pensioner is one of a married couple, by the amount set out in Table B to this subsection—

(A) if the pensioner is a man, in respect of his wife if he is living with or wholly or mainly maintaining her and she is not in receipt of pension under the Acts or any benefit or pension under the Social Welfare Acts, 1952 to 1976, or

(B) if the pensioner is a woman, in respect of her husband if she is wholly or mainly maintaining him and he is incapable of self-support by reason of physical or mental infirmity and is not in receipt of pension under the Acts or any benefit or pension under the Social Welfare Acts, 1952 to 1976.

(b) For the purposes of this subsection, weekly means shall be the yearly means divided by fifty-two.

TABLE A

Rate of Pension

Weekly Rate

Means of claimant or pensioner

Claimant or pensioner, no qualified child

Claimant or pensioner, one qualified child

Claimant or pensioner, two or more qualified children

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

£

£

£

Where the weekly means of the claimant or pensioner—

do not exceed £6

10·25

13·00

15·75

Plus, where there are more than two qualified children, £2·10 for each qualified child in excess of two.

exceed £6 but do not exceed £7

9·15

11·90

14·65

exceed £7 but do not exceed £8

8·05

10·80

13·55

exceed £8 but do not exceed £9

6·95

9·70

12·45

exceed £9 but do not exceed £10

5·85

8·60

11·35

exceed £10 but do not exceed £11

4·75

7·50

10·25

exceed £11 but do not exceed £12

3·65

6·40

9·15

exceed £12 but do not exceed £13

2·55

5·30

8·05

exceed £13 but do not exceed £14

1·45

4·20

6·95

exceed £14 but do not exceed £15

No Pension

3·10

5·85

TABLE B

Increase for an Adult Dependant

Means of claimant or pensioner

Weekly rate of increase

Where the weekly means of the claimant or pensioner—

£

do not exceed £6

5·10

exceed £6 but do not exceed £7

4·55

exceed £7 but do not exceed £8

4·00

exceed £8 but do not exceed £9

3·45

exceed £9 but do not exceed £10

2·90

exceed £10 but do not exceed £11

2·35

exceed £11 but do not exceed £12

1·80

exceed £12 but do not exceed £13

1·25

exceed £13 but do not exceed £14

0·70

exceed £14

Nil

and

(b) the substitution in subsection (5) (inserted by the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1969 ) of “five pounds, seventy new pence” for “five pounds, twenty new pence” (inserted by the Regulations of 1975).

(2) This section shall come into operation on the 2nd day of April, 1976.

Unemployment assistance (new rates).

3. —(1) In the Act of 1933, for the Schedule thereto (inserted by the Act of 1975), there is hereby substituted the Schedule to this section.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section the Schedule to the Act of 1933 inserted by the Act of 1975 (as varied by the Regulations of 1975) shall continue to apply in the case of a person for whom the yearly value of any advantage accruing to him from the use of land, the rateable valuation of which exceeds £15 and which is personally used or enjoyed by him, is calculated in accordance with section 8 of the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1965 , and accordingly, the rates of unemployment assistance to be taken into account in the case of such a person for the purposes of section 10 (3) (c) (inserted by the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1962 ) of the Act of 1933, shall be those specified in that Schedule (as so varied).

(3) This section shall come into operation on the 31st day of March, 1976.

SCHEDULE

Rates of Unemployment Assistance

Classes of persons to whom the rates of unemployment assistance set out in this Schedule are applicable

Weekly rate of unemployment assistance applicable to persons resident in any urban area

Weekly rate of unemployment assistance applicable to persons resident in any other place

Person without a dependant

£8·90

£8·55

Person with an adult dependant

£15·35

£14·90

Person with an adult dependant and one child dependant

£18·10

£17·65

Person with an adult dependant and two or more child dependants

£20·85

£20·40

plus, where there are more than two child dependants, £2·10 for each child dependant in excess of two.

plus, where there are more than two child dependants, £2·10 for each child dependant in excess of two.

Person with one child dependant

£11·80

£11·45

Person with two or more child dependants

£14·55

£14·20

plus, where there are more than two child dependants, £2·10 for each child dependant in excess of two.

plus, where there are more than two child dependants, £2·10 for each child dependant in excess of two.

Amendment of section 8 of Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1965.

4. —(1) Section 8 of the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1965 , is hereby amended by the substitution for subsections (1) and (2) of the following subsections :

“(1) Subject to the provisions of sections 9 and 10 of this Act, the yearly value of any advantage accruing to a person who is resident in an area standing specified for the time being in an order under subsection (3) of this section from the use of land which is personally used or enjoyed by the person shall, for the purposes of section 13 (1) (c) of the Act of 1933, be deemed to be an amount calculated—

(a) at the rate of £20 for every pound of the rateable valuation of the land in any case where the valuation does not exceed £15 and at a proportionate rate for any portion of a pound of the valuation,

(b) at the rate of £30 for every pound of the rateable valuation of the land in any case where the valuation exceeds £15 but does not exceed £20 and at a proportionate rate for any portion of a pound of the valuation,

(c) at the rate of £40 for every pound of the rateable valuation of the land in any case where the valuation exceeds £20 and at a proportionate rate for any portion of a pound of the valuation.

(2) (a) The Government may from time to time by order vary a rate specified in subsection (1) of this section or a rateable valuation so specified in relation to such a rate, and may by order provide for a further rate or rates in addition to those provided for in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of that subsection and specify a further valuation or valuations in relation to such rate or rates.

(b) The Government may from time to time by order revoke or amend an order under this subsection, including an order under this paragraph.”.

(2) This section shall come into operation on the 31st day of March, 1976.

Widows' (non-contributory) pensions, deserted wife's allowance, social assistance allowance for unmarried mothers and prisoner's wife's allowance (new rates).

5. —(1) Section 20 (inserted by the Act of 1952) of the Act of 1935 is hereby amended by the substitution of the following subsection for subsection (1) (inserted by the Act of 1975):

“(1) (a) A widow's (non-contributory) pension shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be—

(i) where the weekly means of the widow do not exceed £15—at the rate set out in Table B to this subsection, and

(ii) where the weekly means of the widow exceed £15—at the rate at which, in accordance with that Table, the pension would be payable to the widow if her weekly means exceeded £14 but did not exceed £15, less £1.10 for each amount (if any) of £1 by which those weekly means exceed £15, any fraction of £1 in those weekly means being treated for this purpose as £1; provided that if the rate calculated pursuant to this paragraph at which, but for this proviso, the pension would be payable is less than 50 new pence, the pension shall not be payable.

(b) For the purposes of this subsection, weekly means shall be the yearly means divided by fifty-two.

TABLE B

Weekly Rates of Widows' (Non-Contributory) Pensions

Means of Widow

Widow, no qualified child

Widow, one qualified child

Widow, two or more qualified children

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

Where the weekly means of the widow—

£

£

£

do not exceed £6

10·25

13·65

17·05

Plus, where there are more than two qualified children, £3·40 for each qualified child in excess of two.

exceed £6 but do not exceed £7

9·15

12·55

15·95

exceed £7 but do not exceed £8

8·05

11·45

14·85

exceed £8 but do not exceed £9

6·95

10·35

13·75

exceed £9 but do not exceed £10

5·85

9·25

12·65

exceed £10 but do not exceed £11

4·75

8·15

11·55

exceed £11 but do not exceed £12

3·65

7·05

10·45

exceed £12 but do not exceed £13

2·55

5·95

9·35

exceed £13 but do not exceed £14

1·45

4·85

8·25

exceed £14 but do not exceed £15

No Pension

3·75

7·15

(2) This section, is so far as it relates to widows' (non-contributory) pensions only, shall come into operation on the 2nd day of April, 1976, and, in so far as it relates to deserted wife's allowance, social assistance allowance for unmarried mothers and prisoner's wife's allowance, on the 1st day of April, 1976.

Orphans' (non-contributory) pensions (new rates).

6. —(1) Section 25 (inserted by the Social Welfare Act, 1973 ) of the Act of 1935 is hereby amended by the substitution for the Table (inserted by the Act of 1975) to subsection (1) of the Table to this section.

(2) This section shall come into operation on the 2nd day of April, 1976.

TABLE

Weekly Rates of Orphans' (Non-Contributory) Pensions

Means of Orphan

Weekly Rates

Where the weekly means of the orphan—

£

do not exceed £1

6·65

exceed £1 but do not exceed £2

5·55

exceed £2 but do not exceed £3

4·45

exceed £3 but do not exceed £4

3·35

exceed £4 but do not exceed £5

2·25

exceed £5 but do not exceed £6

1·15

exceed £6

No pension

Single woman's allowance (new rates).

7. —(1) Section 8 of the Social Welfare (No. 2) Act, 1974 is hereby amended by the substitution for the Table thereto (inserted by the Act of 1975) of the Table to this section.

(2) This section shall come into operation on the 1st day of April, 1976.

TABLE

Rate of Single Woman's Allowance

Means of claimant or beneficiary

Weekly Rate

Where the weekly means of the claimant or beneficiary—

£

do not exceed £1

8·90

exceed £1 but do not exceed £2

7·80

exceed £2 but do not exceed £3

6·70

exceed £3 but do not exceed £4

5·60

exceed £4 but do not exceed £5

4·50

exceed £5 but do not exceed £6

3·40

exceed £6 but do not exceed £7

2·30

exceed £7 but do not exceed £8

1·20

exceed £8

No allowance

Old age (care) allowance (new rate).

8. —(1) Section 21 (1) of the Social Welfare Act, 1970 , which provides for old age (care) allowance, is hereby amended by the substitution of “£5.70” for “£5.20” (inserted by the Regulations of 1975).

(2) This section shall come into operation on the 1st day of April, 1976.

Social insurance benefits (new rates).

9. —(1) The Third Schedule to the Act of 1952 is hereby amended by the substitution for Part I (inserted by the Act of 1975) of the following Part:

“PART I

Rates of Periodical Benefits and of Increases Thereof

Description of benefit

Weekly Rate

Increase for adult dependant (where payable)

Increase for qualified child or for each of two qualified children (where payable)

Increase for each qualified child in excess of two (where payable)

Increase for adult dependant under section 26 (4) (where payable)

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

£

£

£

£

£

1. Disability Benefit and Unemployment Benefit:

(a) in the case of persons over the age of eighteen—

(i) for a man, single woman or widow, married woman living apart from and unable to obtain any financial assistance from her husband or married woman entitled to an increase for a qualified child or qualified children or for a husband

10·90

7·10

3·10

2·60

(ii) for any other married woman

9·50

(b) in the case of persons under the age of eighteen—

(i) where the person is entitled to an increase for a qualified child or qualified children or for an adult dependant

10·90

7·10

3·10

2·60

(ii) where the person is not so entitled

9·50

2. Invalidity Pension:

(a) for a man, single woman or widow, married woman living apart from and unable to obtain any financial assistance from her husband or married woman entitled to an increase for a qualified child or qualified children or for a husband

10·90

7·10

3·10

2·60

5·70

(b) for any other married woman

9·50

5·70

3. Maternity Allowance

10·90

4. Widow's (Contributory) Pension:

(a) in the case of persons under the age of eighty

11·00

3·70

3·70

5·70

(b) in any other case

11·85

3·70

3·70

5·70

5. Deserted Wife's Benefit

11·00

3·70

3·70

5·70

6. Orphan's (Contributory) Allowance

8·00

7. Retirement Pension and Old Age (Contributory) Pension:

(a) in the case of persons under the age of eighty

12·15

7·70

3·10

2·60

5·70

(b) in any other case

12·85

7·70

3·10

2·60

5·70

(c) additional increase for an adult dependant who has attained pensionable age

1·45

(2) This section shall come into operation—

(a) in so far as it relates to disability benefit, unemployment benefit and maternity allowance, on the 5th day of April, 1976,

(b) in so far as it relates to deserted wife's benefit, invalidity pension and retirement pension, on the 1st day of April, 1976, and

(c) in so far as it relates to any other benefit, on the 2nd day of April, 1976.

Increase of certain rates of unemployment benefit.

10. —(1) Section 5 of the Act of 1967 is hereby amended by the substitution for the Table (inserted by the Act of 1975) to subsection (2) of the Table to this section.

(2) This section shall come into operation on the 5th day of April, 1976.

TABLE

Class of Person

Weekly Rate

Increase for adult dependant (where payable)

Increase for qualified child or for each of two qualified children (where payable)

Increase for each qualified child in excess of two (where payable)

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

£

£

£

£

Person entitled to an increase in respect of a qualified child but not entitled to an increase in respect of an adult dependant

9·05

2·75

2·10

Any other person

8·90

6·45

2·75

2·10

Extension of period of unemployment benefit.

11. —(1) Section 5 of the Act of 1967 is hereby amended by the substitution for subsections (1) and (4) of the following subsections, respectively:

“(1) Section 16 (2) of the Act of 1952 shall, in respect of a person who is over the age of eighteen years and is not a married woman (other than a married woman living apart from and unable to obtain any financial assistance from her husband or entitled to an increase of benefit for a child or husband), have effect as if “three hundred and ninety days” were substituted for “one hundred and fifty-six days”.

(4) Where a person entitled to unemployment benefit for three hundred and ninety days has exhausted his right to that benefit—

(a) he shall requalify therefor when thirteen employment contributions have been paid in respect of him in respect of contribution weeks begun or ended since the one hundred and fifty-sixth day for which he was entitled to that benefit,

(b) on his requalifying therefor, section 16 (2) of the Act of 1952, as amended by this section, shall again apply to him, but, in a case where the period of interruption of employment in which he exhausted his right to benefit continues after his requalification, as if the part before and the part after the exhaustion were distinct periods of interruption of employment.”

(2) Where in a period of interruption of employment a person to whom section 5 (1) of the Act of 1967 (as amended by this section) applies has exhausted his right to 312 days' unemployment benefit within the period of 78 days ending at the commencement of this section he shall be entitled to unemployment benefit in respect of each day, up to a maximum of 78 days, of unemployment occurring after such commencement but before the 394th day of unemployment in that period of interruption of employment.

(3) This section shall come into operation on the 5th day of April, 1976.

Amendments of Social Welfare (Pay-Related Benefit) Act, 1973.

12. —(1) Section 3 of the Act of 1973 is hereby amended by the substitution of the following subsection for subsection (2) (inserted by the Social Welfare (Pay-Related Benefit) Act, 1975):

“(2) In any period of interruption of employment a person shall not be entitled to pay-related benefit in respect of any day of incapacity for work after the three hundred and ninety-third day of incapacity for work in that period or in respect of any day of unemployment after the three hundred and ninety-third day of unemployment in that period.”.

(2) The following section is hereby substituted for section 4 (inserted by the Social Welfare (Pay-Related Benefit) Act, 1975) of the Act of 1973 :

“4. The weekly rate of pay-related benefit payable to a person in any period of interruption of employment shall be an amount equal to—

(a) for any part of that period up to and including the one hundred and fifty-ninth day of incapacity for work, or for any part of that period up to and including the one hundred and fifty-ninth day of unemployment, forty per cent.,

(b) for any part of that period on and from the one hundred and sixtieth day of incapacity for work up to and including the two hundred and thirty-seventh such day, or for any part of that period on and from the one hundred and sixtieth day of unemployment up to and including the two hundred and thirty-seventh such day, thirty per cent.,

(c) for any part of that period on and from the two hundred and thirty-eighth day of incapacity for work up to and including the three hundred and fifteenth such day, or for any part of that period on and from the two hundred and thirty-eighth day of unemployment up to and including the three hundred and fifteenth such day, twenty-five per cent., and

(d) for any part of that period on and from the three hundred and sixteenth day of incapacity for work up to and including the three hundred and ninety-third such day, or for any part of that period on and from the three hundred and sixteenth day of unemployment up to and including the three hundred and ninety-third such day, twenty per cent.,

of the part (if any) of his reckonable weekly earnings for the relevant income tax year that exceeds £14 but does not exceed such limit as stands prescribed for the time being, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed to restrict the total amount of benefit payable under the Acts to the person in respect of any week.”.

(3) (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2) of section 3 of the Act of 1973 (as amended by this section) but subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of that section, where, in a period of interruption of employment which began before the commencement of this section, a person has, before such commencement, received pay-related benefit and had not less than 315 days of incapacity for work, he shall be entitled to pay-related benefit in respect of each day, up to a maximum of 78 days, of incapacity for work occurring after such commencement but before the three hundred and ninety-fourth day of incapacity for work in that period of interruption of employment.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2) of section 3 of the Act of 1973 but subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of that section, where, in a period of interruption of employment which began before the commencement of this section, a person has, before such commencement, received pay-related benefit and had not less than 315 days of unemployment, he shall be entitled to pay-related benefit in respect of each day, up to a maximum of 78 days, of unemployment occurring after such commencement but before the three hundred and ninety-fourth day of unemployment in that period of interruption of employment.

(4) The Social Welfare (Extension of Duration of Pay-Related Benefit) Order, 1975 (S.I. No. 206 of 1975) is hereby revoked.

(5) In this section—

the Act of 1973” means the Social Welfare (Pay-Related Benefit) Act, 1973 .

(6) This section shall come into operation on the 5th day of April, 1976.

Employment contributions (new rates).

13. —(1) (a) The Second Schedule to the Act of 1952 is hereby amended by the substitution, for the rate of contribution specified in each paragraph mentioned in column (1) of the Table to this subsection, of the rate specified in column (2) of that Table opposite that mention in column (1).

(b) This subsection shall come into operation on the 5th day of April, 1976.

TABLE

Paragraph of Second Schedule

Rate of Contribution

(1)

(2)

£

Paragraph 1 (a):

(i) in the case of a male employed contributor

2·04

(ii) in the case of a female employed contributor

1·98

Paragraph 1 (b):

(i) in the case of a male employed contributor

3·29

(ii) in the case of a female employed contributor

3·27

Paragraph 2 (a)

1·92

Paragraph 2 (b)

3·15

Paragraph 2A (a)

1·78

Paragraph 2A (b)

3·13

Paragraph 3 (a)

1·61

Paragraph 3 (b)

2·69

Paragraph 3A (a)

1·97

Paragraph 3A (b)

3·55

Paragraph 4 (a)

0·42

Paragraph 4 (b)

0·68

Paragraph 5 (b)

0·68

Paragraph 6 (a)

1·95

Paragraph 6 (b)

3·27

Paragraph 7 (a)

2·09

Paragraph 7 (b)

3·50

Paragraph 8 (a)

1·61

Paragraph 8 (b)

2·69

(2) (a) The rates of employment contribution payable under paragraphs 1, 2, 2A, 3A, 6 and 7 of the Second Schedule to the Act of 1952, as amended by subsection (1) of this section, shall be increased by the addition to the rate of contribution specified in each paragraph mentioned in column (1) of the Table to this subsection of the rate specified in column (2) of that Table opposite that mention in column (1).

(b) This subsection shall apply in the period commencing on the 5th day of April, 1976 and ending on the 3rd day of April, 1977.

TABLE

Paragraph of Second Schedule

Rate of Contribution

(1)

(2)

£

Paragraph 1 (a):

(i) in the case of a male employed contributor

0·10

(ii) in the case of a female employed contributor

0·10

Paragraph 1 (b):

(i) in the case of a male employed contributor

0·21

(ii) in the case of a female employed contributor

0·21

Paragraph 2 (a)

0·10

Paragraph 2 (b)

0·21

Paragraph 2A (a)

0·10

Paragraph 2A (b)

0·21

Paragraph 3A (a)

0·10

Paragraph 3A (b)

0·21

Paragraph 6 (a)

0·10

Paragraph 6 (b)

0·21

Paragraph 7 (a)

0·10

Paragraph 7 (b)

0·21

Voluntary contributions (new rates).

14. —(1) Section 6 of the Act of 1952 is hereby amended by the substitution for subsection (2) (inserted by the Act of 1975) of the following subsection :

“(2) Voluntary contributions shall be weekly contributions which shall be paid by voluntary contributors who are under pensionable age at the rate of—

(a) £1.10 for each contribution week where, immediately before ceasing to be employed contributors, they were insurably employed in employment in respect of which the employment contributions payable are not reckonable for the purposes of old age (contributory) pension, and

(b) £2.83 for each contribution week where, immediately before ceasing to be employed contributors, they were insurably employed in employment in respect of which the employment contributions payable are reckonable for the purposes of old age (contributory) pension,

in the case of both male voluntary contributors and female voluntary contributors.”

(2) This section shall come into operation on the 5th day of April, 1976.

Voluntary contributions (new rates for certain persons).

15. —(1) The weekly rate of voluntary contribution payable by a person to whom section 17 of the Act of 1975 applies shall be £1.73 in the case both of male voluntary contributors and of female voluntary contributors.

(2) This section shall come into operation on the 5th day of April, 1976.

Occupational injuries benefits (new rates and contributions).

16. —(1) Each rate (inserted by the Regulations of 1975) of occupational injuries benefit in the Act of 1966 mentioned in column (1) of the Table to this subsection is hereby increased by the substitution for that rate of the rate specified in column (2) of that Table opposite that mention in column (1).

TABLE

Rate of occupational injuries benefit in the Act of 1966

Increased rate

(1)

(2)

£10·80

in

section

8

(3)

(a)

£11·90

£13·80

8

(3)

(b)

£15·20

£950·00

9

(7)

(a)

£1,050·00

£13·80

in

Table

I

to

section 9

(8)

£15·20

£12·42

£13·68

£11·04

£12·16

£9·66

£10·64

£8·28

£9·12

£6·90

£7·60

£5·52

£6·08

£4·14

£4·56

£2·76

£3·04

£10·80

in

Table

II

to

section 9

(8)

£11·90

£9·72

£10·71

£8·64

£9·52

£7·56

£8·33

£6·48

£7·14

£5·40

£5·95

£4·32

£4·76

£3·24

£3·57

£2·16

£2·38

£2·76

in

section 9

(9)

(b)

(ii)

£3·04

£2·16

£2·38

£6·45

in

section

10

(1)

£7·10

£2·80

11

(1)

£3·10

£2·35

£2·60

£8·65

12

(1)

(a)

£9·50

£9·90

12

(1)

(b)

£10·90

£5·20

13

(1)

£5·70

£10·40

£11·40

£10·80

15(1)

(a)

(i)

£11·90

£13·80

15(1)

(a)

(ii)

£15·20

£12·95

17

(2)

and

(18)

(2)

£14·25

£674·00

18

(3)

£742·00

£3·35

19

in

each

place

where

it

occurs

£3·70

£5·75

20

£6·35

£12·95

£14·25

£7·75

21

(2)

£8·55

£2·16

25

(3)

(a)

£2·38

£2·76

25

(3)

(b)

£3·04

(2) Sections 36 (2) (b) and 36 (3) of the Act of 1966 are hereby amended by the substitution of “14p” for “12p” (inserted by the Act of 1975), and of “11p” for “9p” (inserted by the Act of 1975).

(3) Subject to subsection (4) of this section, this section shall come into operation on the 5th day of April, 1976.

(4) The increases provided for by subsection (1) of this section in so far as they relate to sections 17 (2), 18 (2), 18 (3), 19, 20 and 21 (2) of the Act of 1966, shall come into operation on the 2nd day of April, 1976.

Amendment of section 26 of Act of 1952 (additional benefit for adult dependants).

17. —(1) Section 26 of the Act of 1952 is hereby amended by the substitution for subsection (3) (inserted by the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1963 ) of the following subsection :—

“(3) (a) Subject to the provisions of the Social Welfare Acts, 1952 to 1976, on the death of a woman to whom an old age (contributory) pension or retirement pension was payable at an increased weekly rate by virtue of this section in respect of a period ending on such death, her husband shall be entitled to benefit the weekly rate of which is equal to the rate of widow's (contributory) pension, including increases in respect of qualified children where appropriate, which would be payable to him under the provisions of this Act if he were a widow.

(b) Benefit under this subsection shall not be payable for any period after the remarriage of the person to whom it had been payable, or for any period after he ceased to be incapable of self-support by reason of some physical or mental infirmity.

(c) A man shall be disqualified for receiving benefit under this subsection if and so long as he and any other person are cohabiting as man and wife.

(d) Where, but for the provisions of this paragraph, benefit under this subsection and old age (contributory) pension or retirement pension would be payable to a person in respect of any period—

(i) benefit under this subsection shall not be payable in respect of that period unless the rate thereof is greater than the rate of the pension, and

(ii) the pension shall not be payable in respect of that period unless the rate thereof is equal to or greater than the rate of benefit under this subsection.”.

(2) This section shall come into operation on the 1st day of April, 1976.

Amendment of section 27 of Act of 1952 (increases of benefit—qualified children).

18. —(1) The Act of 1952 is hereby amended by the substitution for section 27 of the following section :

“27. The weekly rate of disability benefit, unemployment benefit, old age (contributory) pension, invalidity pension, retirement pension, deserted wife's benefit or widow's (contributory) pension shall be increased by the amount set out in column (4) of Part I of the Third Schedule to this Act in respect of a qualified child or each of two qualified children who normally resides or reside with the beneficiary and in addition, where there are more than two such children, by the amount set out in column (5) of that Part in respect of each such child in excess of two.”.

(2) This section shall come into operation on the 1st day of April, 1976.

Amendment of section 20 of Act of 1935 (rates of widows' (non-contributory) pensions).

19. —(1) Section 20 (inserted by the Act of 1952) of the Act of 1935 is hereby amended by the substitution for subsection (4) of the following subsection.

“(4) In applying Table B to subsection (1) of this section—

(a) columns (1) and (3) shall have effect in a case where there is one qualified child only who normally resides with the widow;

(b) columns (1) and (4) shall have effect in a case where there are two or more qualified children who normally reside with the widow;

(c) columns (1) and (2) shall have effect in any other case.”.

(2) This section shall come into operation on the 1st day of April, 1976.

Short title, construction and collective citation.

20. —(1) This Act may be cited as the Social Welfare Act, 1976.

(2) This Act—

(a) in so far as it amends and extends the Old Age Pensions Acts, 1908 to 1975, shall be construed as one with those Acts and may be cited together with them as the Old Age Pensions Acts, 1908 to 1976,

(b) in so far as it amends and extends the Unemployment Assistance Acts, 1933 to 1975, shall be construed as one with those Acts and may be cited together with them as the Unemployment Assistance Acts, 1933 to 1976,

(c) in so far as it amends and extends the Widows' and Orphans' Pensions Acts, 1935 to 1975, shall be construed as one with those Acts and may be cited together with them as the Widows' and Orphans' Pensions Acts, 1935 to 1976,

(d) in so far as it amends and extends the Social Welfare Acts, 1952 to 1975, shall be construed as one with those Acts and may be cited together with them as the Social Welfare Acts, 1952 to 1976.