HC Deb 25 January 1897 vol 45 c399
MR. JASPER TULLY (Leitrim, S.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that very great discontent exists among the people taxed for the repayment of the loans (including £30,000 charged by the Treasury as interest) for the drainage of the River Suck, in many cases the drainage tax being equal to the farmer's rent; whether he can state what has been the rate of interest charged; and whether, in order to reduce the burdens on the present occupiers, he would be prepared to advise the Treasury to accede to the resolutions passed at the public meetings held on the subject, and extend the repayment of the loans over a period of 80 years?


As I have before explained, the occupiers have only to pay a sum representing the actual benefit to their interests resulting from the works on the basis of present prices, and the whole of the non-productive outlay over and above the Government Grant of £50,000 falls on the proprietors. I assume that the £30,000 mentioned by the hon. Member represents interest during construction. None of this falls on the occupiers. The rate of interest is fixed by the Suck Drainage Act 1890 at 3¼ per cent. The same Act fixes the period of repayment at 40 years. This arrangement was made when the Government granted the £50,000, and I do not see that the occupiers have made out any case of hardship which would justify legislation being sought to amend it.