HC Deb 20 July 1910 vol 19 cc1234-6

asked the Lord Advocate what has been decided on the application of Mrs. Morburn, of Abbey Street, Melrose, made in March last for an old age pension; and what is the reason for delay in disposal?


It is assumed that the claim in question is that of Mrs. Thorburn (not Morburn). It was dated the 2nd May, 1910, and will be submitted to the Melrose Burgh Pension Committee at their next meeting. The Board of Customs and Excise are inquiring as to whether there was any unnecessary delay on the part of the pension officer in dealing with the claim.


asked how many prosecutions under the Old Age Pensions Act have taken place in the counties of Somerset and Gloucester?


There have been twelve prosecutions under the Old Age Pensions Act, 1908, in these two counties, including Bristol. The number is made up as follows:—Somerset 4, Gloucester 6, Bristol 2.


asked whether the Pension Committee of Ennistymon, county Clare, recommended James Neylon, of Caheraderry, Ennistymon, number in register 6,286, for an old age pension; that the pension officer objected that James Neylon had not reached the age of seventy, but that the applicant was able to prove that he was recorded as four years of age in the Census of 1841; that the pension officer then objected on the ground that the applicant had failed to work according to his ability for the past twenty years; and that the Pension Committee, after hearing this objection, again recommended James Neylon for the pension; whether the fact that the applicant has maintained himself and family on a scanty holding, and has reached the age of seventy-three without parish relief and free from debt, will be considered sufficient evidence of working according to his ability; and whether the Local Government Board will allow the pension to James Neylon?


I understand that, though the local pension committee decided in favour of the grant of a pension, the Local Government Board have disallowed the claim on appeal. I have no power to interfere with their decision.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say on what grounds they disallowed the pension?


No. I know nothing about the proceedings of the judgment of the Local Government Board.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (I) if the initial sum to be agreed as the contribution from each locality to the Exchequer towards the payment of old age pensions is to be a fixed annual sum, and, if not, on what basis it will be calculated in future years; (2) in the case of a present inmate of a Poor Law institution becoming a pensioner, on what basis the contribution of the guardians will be calculated; (3) on what basis the local authorities will be asked to contribute in the case of granting an old age pension to a person who, on only one or on comparatively few occasions, received temporary relief; (4) if, in the case of a pension being granted to a person formerly in receipt of poor relief, the pensioner will be entitled in the future to medical relief?


It is intended that the contribution from local authorities should not, as I have already explained to the House, exceed the amount by which the rates will be relieved owing to the removal of the pauper disqualification. I do not think it would be advisable at present to give details as to the means by which this will be effected or as to the basis of the contribution.

Mr. FELL (for Mr. Lonsdale)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has any estimate of the number of persons in Ireland who will become eligible for Old age pensions in consequence of the removal of the Poor Law relief disqualification; and if he can state the approximate amount which the guardians of the poor will be required to contribute towards these pensions?


The number of persons over seventy years of age in receipt of relief in Ireland on 1st January last was believed to be about 25,000. It is not possible to say what addition to the numbers relieved in a single day must be made in order to arrive at the total number of persons at present disqualified. The contribution of the guardians will be based on the cost of relief as at present administered. It is not possible to give an estimate at the present time, but the intention of the Government is that the charge shall not exceed the actual saving to the guardians by the removal of the disqualification.