§ MR. GWYNN
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland why the Local Government Board has refused its consent to the resolution of the urban district council of Galway reducing the poundage fees of their poor rate collector; whether his attention has been called to the fact that the increase in the poor rate, occasioned by distress in the town, has 1669 raised the collector's salary to a point which it never previously reached; and whether the Board will reconsider their action in the interest of economy of administration.
§ MR. CHERRY
The poor rate collector referred to was appointed in 1904, at a poundage fee of 10d., and in 1905, the urban district council, by a large majority, increased the poundage rate to 1s., with the sanction of the Local Government Board. The facts upon which the council based their proposal for the increase in 1905 do not appear to have altered in any respect, and the Local Government Board, therefore, see no reason for assenting to the proposed reduction of the poundage fees. The amount to be collected for the present year is £7,013, which is but very slightly in excess of the amounts for 1903–4 and for 1906–7. The amount varies from year to year. Last year it was considerably below the average, and this year it is somewhat above the average.
§ MR. CULLINAN (Tipperary, S.)
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that since the passing of the Local Government Act of 1898, the officials of the central authority have done all they could to increase the expenditure of the local authorities? Will he not allow the local authorities to exercise their own discretion in the practice of economy?
§ MR. CHERRY
The increase in this case was made at the instance of a large majority of the members of the district council.