HC Deb 15 March 1911 vol 22 cc2225-7

asked whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware that Martin Quinn, of Belclare, and Margaret Rochford, of Stonepark, Aclare, sub-committee, Tubbercurry, county Sligo, were deprived of their pensions, the former on the 3rd June, 1909, and the latter on the 9th September, 1909, because, as then alleged, their names could not be traced on the Census returns; whether they were afterwards placed on the pension list, Quinn on the 31st August, 1909, and Mrs. Rochford on the 2nd November, 1909, it having been shown by the Census returns that they were seventy-one years of age when struck off; and whether, under these circumstances, the sums of £3 and £2 respectively due to these people, owing to wrongful disqualification, will now be paid to them?


I find that each of the two pensions named in the question supplied the pension officer with incorrect information, and that it was owing to such incorrect information having been given that they were disqualified in the first instance. Under these circumstances I am unable to approve of an extra-statutory grant being made to either in respect of the periods which elapsed between the disqualifying decisions and the fresh grants respectively.


asked whether the Secretary to the Treasury is aware that the pension officer of the Glenties district, county Donegal, has seized the pension books of several old age pensioners when admitted to the workhouse hospital for medical treatment; and whether, in view of the fact that the Local Government Board for Ireland has decided that, so long as the cost of maintenance in the hospital is paid by a patient, such patient, if otherwise qualified, is entitled to receive his old age pension, he will direct that the practice referred to shall be immediately discontinued?


I have made inquiry in this matter, and can find no evidence to support the suggestion that the practice of the pension officer at Glenties is as stated in the question. I will, however, make further inquiries if the hon. Member can instance any specific cases which he has in mind.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the pension officer has any authority to do what is referred to in the question?


I have no information.


asked the President of the Local Government Board whether he can state the number of persons ceasing to be chargeable to the rates in Manchester owing to the discontinuance of the old age pension disqualification and the saving in the rates thereby?


The City of Manchester comprises two Poor Law Unions—namely, Manchester and South Manchester, and part of a third—Prestwich. Figures for the municipal area cannot be given, but I find that in the three unions mentioned there were 990 persons in receipt of relief on the 31st December, 1910, who received old age pensions before the 28th January, 1911. On estimated figures the saving to the rates by the transfer of this number of persons from the pauper roll to the pension lists would be some £9,000 per annum.


asked the President of the Local Government Board if he was able to give any information as to the extent to which the rates of the various Poor Law unions will benefit by the action of the Government in taking over the entire cost of old age pensions to those persons who, previous to January last, were in receipt of Poor Law relief?


Returns have been received from the several Poor Law unions with regard to the number of persons in receipt of Poor Law relief on the 31st December, 1910, who received old age pensions and ceased to be chargeable to guardians during the four weeks ended 28th January, 1911. A statement will shortly be presented, giing the number of such persons in each union, accompanied by materials for estimating the extent to which the rates of the several unions will benefit in the result.


Can the right hon. Gentleman give me any idea as to when that statement will be ready?


In a few days.