HC Deb 02 January 1913 vol 46 cc497-8

asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware that the Ardfert old age pension committee has resigned owing to the dissatisfaction which they feel at the assessment of the income of applicants for pensions made by the pension officer and ratified by the Local Government Board for Ireland; will he explain what steps the Local Government Board take to find whether the figures as to means supplied by the pension officer are correct; and whether, in view of the dissatisfaction prevailing and the effect upon qualified applicants of the estimates of incompetent officers, he will take steps to have a sworn inquiry into all the facts which caused the resignation of this committee?


I am aware that the Ardfert pension sub-committee have resigned as stated. The Local Government Board form their own opinion on each case on its merits having regard to the report of the pension officer, and the representations made by or on behalf of the claimant. There does not appear to be, any necessity for a sworn inquiry in this case.


May I ask what evidence the Local Government Board had before them when they came to their decision?


They can get the evidence. If the hon. Member likes I will supply him with particulars of the cases-on which I believe the Ardfert sub-committee thought fit to retire.

11 Mr. J. P. FARRELL

asked whether the right hon. Gentleman will take any further steps to have the pension of 5s. weekly restored to Edward Prunty, of Aghaward, Ballinalee, county Longford,, seeing that this man is in poverty and much worse off by the withdrawal of the-pension than if he never got it; whether he is aware that he denies the correctness of the valuation of means made by the pension officer; and will he now direct that the Local Government Board inspector visits and specially reports on this case?


As the pension has been disallowed, the Local Government Board have no power to reopen the case. It would appear that Prunty is making another claim, and if the case again comes before the Board on appeal they will be in a position to consider the advisability of sending one of their inspectors to investigate the matter locally.


Will the right hon. Gentleman send an inspector to report on this case?


I think the inspector's report may be relied upon.