Thursday, 19 March 2020
An Bille Sláinte (Caomhnú agus Cosaint agus Bearta Éigeandála Eile Ar Mhaithe Le Leas an Phobail), 2020: Céim an Choiste agus na Céimeanna a bheidh Fágtha - Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages
I had intended to withdraw amendment No. 27. On the other amendments ruled out of order, the intention of the Government is to raise the basic rate of illness benefit from €203 per week to €305 per week.
As the Minister knows, a person with dependants receives a certain percentage - I think it is 70% - of the adult dependant rate and there are also certain rates for child dependants. Are those rates going to be raised commensurately, or at all? I would also like to know the position regarding someone who is diagnosed with coronavirus and is entitled to receive illness benefit at the higher rate. If that person's spouse or dependant is working and is not, on income grounds, entitled to a medical card, has the Government any views on whether a medical card should be made available to those people in the short term?