Seanad debates

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Public Services Card

10:30 am

Photo of Victor BoyhanVictor Boyhan (Independent) | Oireachtas source

I know what the Minister of State is saying but he is not telling us very much. I accept the Government is considering amendments and that the matter is complex. In essence, the Minister of State is telling me that it is a voluntary arrangement with the cardholder. However, there is no comfort there for these rural people. They have no IDs and are being forced as an unintended consequence to apply for a passport. This means an 80 or a 90 year old lady must pay €75 for a passport as a form of ID. We do not have a national ID card system in Ireland and, as such, there is no alternative. I must write to this lady today to tell her there is no comfort and that she will have to spend €75. It is a disgrace.

This matter should be looked at. As a Deputy from a rural constituency, the Minister of State should take the matter on and champion it personally as it is a very important issue. We have no form of ID for thousands of people who are being told to go through the process of applying for a passport to prove their identities. I ask the Minister of State to consider pursuing the matter on foot of the genuine concern here. These are not the people who are kicking up and roaring and screaming every day of the week. They are elderly people in rural communities who have suffered the consequences of the closure of post offices.


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