§ MR. MURNAGHAN (Tyrone, Mid)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his-attention has been called to the fact that the local rate (cess and poor rate combined) in the Omagh rural district in the standard year was 2s. 11d. in the pound, and that in the year now ending, 1901–02, it is 4s. 3¼d.; is he aware that the increase swallows up the agricultural grant, and leaves the ratepayer no better off than prior to the subvention, and that, in the case of the British farmer, half his rates are paid on agricultural land; and will he take into consideration this fact in dealing with the question of local taxation in Ireland, with a view to-placing the Irish farmer on an equal footing with the British farmer in respect to the Exchequer contribution in relief of rates on agricultural land.
§ MR. ATKINSON
The figures given in that Question are, I believe, accurate. The hon. Member is mistaken as to the operation of the English Act. To make the change suggested would alter the whole basis on which the Local Government (Ireland) Act has been passed. The remedy is economy in the administration of the rates.