MR. MACATEAGH (Down, S.)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he can state what rates of interest were charged on loans for labourers' cottages in Ireland prior to 3rd March, and what rates are now charged; and at whose instance and on what grounds the increased rate was imposed; whether he is aware that the effect has been the abandonment of schemes for the erection of cottages by numerous district councils; and whether, in view of the failure of the Government to pass comprehensive legislation on the subject this session, he will make representations to the Treasury as to the necessity for reducing the rates of interets now charged.
(Answered by Mr. Wyndham.) The rates of interest charged prior to 3rd March on loans issued out of the Local Loans Fund were—
§ 3¼ per cent. when the period of repayment did not exceed 30 years.
§ 3½ per cent. when the period of repayment did not exceed 40 years.
§ 3¾per cent. when the period of repayment did not exceed 50 years.
§ The rates now charged are—
§ 3½ per cent. when the period does not exceed 20 years.
§ 3¾ per cent. when the period does not exceed 30 years.
§ 4 per cent. when the period does not exceed 40 years.
§ 4¼ per cent. when the period does nor exceed 50 years.
§ The Local Government Board has no information that schemes have been abandoned by district councils for the reason assigned. The rates of interest are fixed by the Treasury in pursuance of The Public Works Loans Act, 1897, and the question of a variation of the rates is entirely one for that Department.