§ MR. FLYNN (Cork, N)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that in respect to a number of weekly and monthly tenancies in Kanturk and other towns in county Cork the landlords have refused to adjust the tenants' rents, as provided by the Local Government Act, and have been receiving the old rents, whilst the tenants owing to non-fixity of tenure are compelled to pay the old rents and are responsible for the rates; whether he will introduce some amendment in the rating system with a view to compel such landlords to pay the standard rate as provided in the Act; whether he is aware that in a number of these cases, owing to the poverty of the tenants, these rates cannot be recovered from them, and that representations have been made to the Local Government Board by several county councils drawing attention to the amount of irrecoverable arrears which accrue in this manner from time to time since the passing of the Local Government Act.
The Local Government Board have no information to the effect stated in the first part of the Question. It may, however, be pointed out that the provision in the Local Government Act of 1898 as to the adjustment of rent between occupiers and landlords applies only in the case of tenancies which existed on the 1st April, 1899. I stated, in reply to a Question of the hon. Member for West Cavan on the 4th April, † the reasons why I am not prepared to introduce legislation to amend the rating system. It is, I am informed, the fact that in a number of cases poverty is alleged as the cause of the non-collection of rates, and representations to that effect have been received by the Board from local authorities.
§ † See (4)Debates,clv., 476.483