HC Deb 08 July 1909 vol 7 cc1528-9W

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that numbers of otherwise qualified voters are disfranchised every year in Belfast owing to the fact that the rates are not paid by the landlords or their agents; and what action he proposes to take in the matter?


I am informed by the Clerk of the Crown and Peace that up to the year 1907 coniderable numbers of persons were struck off the voters' lists in West Belfast owing to rates not having been paid, but I am not in a position to say to whose default such non-payment was due. In 1907, when a considerable number of persons were disqualified for non-payment of rates, the revising barristers took steps to call public attention to the matter, with the result that very few persons were so disqualified in 1908. It is hoped that the state of things of which the hon. Member complains is now at an end.


asked the Chief Secretary whether he can state the amount of the rates collected in Belfast annually for the past five years; the amount received each year directly from the rated occupiers; and the amount recoverable, either through landlords or agents, but not paid, in each year?


I am informed that the total amount of municipal and poor rates, taken together, collected by the Belfast Corporation during the past five years, have been as follows:—

Year. Amount.
1904–5 £340,414
1905–6 348,244
1906–7 357,107
1907–8 395,582
1908–9 414,281
The information at the disposal of the Local Government Board does not enable them to furnish the other particulars asked for in the question, and the town clerk is also unable to do so. Under the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898, the poor rate is payable by the occupier and not by the landlord or his agent.