§ MR. J. F. X. O'BRIEN (Cork)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieuten ant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to a difficulty now experienced by the County Borough Council of Cork, due to the impossibility of levying the rates in time to provide funds for Poor Law and municipal purposes, owing to the fact that the revised valuation lists do not come to hand from the General Valuation Office, Dublin, before 1st March, the time fixed by statute; that the financial year begins on 1st April, leaving only one month for fixing the rates and the preparation of the rate book, which requires at least seven weeks; and whether, seeing that the Board of Guardians are how instructing their law agents to proceed against the corporation, while the Local Government Board will not permit the Council to pay interest to the bank on an overdraft, he will say what steps he proposes to take to deal with this difficulty.
(Answered by Mr. Wyndham.) My attention has been directed to this matter by a communication received from the hon. Member. In the case of counties no difficulty should be experienced in paying these demands in advance, as the Councils receive an instalment of the Agricultural Grant at the end of March, as well as other advances from the Local Taxation Account. But in some of the county boroughs difficulty has been experienced in making the payments referred to in the early part of the financial year. I am inquiring whether it is practicable by administrative action to provide a remedy to meet the latter difficulty.