HC Deb 03 April 1911 vol 23 cc1942-5W

asked (1) how much of the £12,415,000 required in the year ending 31st March, 1012, for the payment of old age pensions in the United Kingdom is attributable, respectively, to England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland; and how much of the sum of £435,014, for which provision is made in various other Estimates for expenditure in connection with old age pensions in the year ending 31st March, 1912, is attributable, respectively, to England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland? Also (2) What was the total sum paid in the United Kingdom in respect of old age pensions, and administrative expenses connected therewith, in the year ending 31st March, 1911; and, of this sum, how much was paid respectively to England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland?


I may, perhaps, suggest that the hon. Member should await the issue of the Revenue and Expenditure Return for 1910–11, which will give the information desired for that year, and serve as a guide to the corresponding information for 1911–12. It is not possible at the present moment to state the total expenditure, or its distribution, in the year 1910–11, or to forecast with certainty the distribution of expenditure in the year 1911–12.


asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether, in regard to the case of Timothy Crotty, of Ross, Kilbaha, West Clare, the Local Government Board will have regard to the fact that Timothy Crotty, on the occasion of the marriage of his son, assigned his farm to his son, on 10th February, 1907, reserving to himself the right of a bed room, part use of the kitchen, and also a quarter of an acre of land, this agreement having been drawn up in due form by a solicitor; that an old age pension of 5s. weekly was granted to Timothy Crotty from the beginning of the operation of the Act till 20th August, 1909; and that the pension was withheld from that date on the ground of sufficient means; and whether, seeing that Timothy Crotty is now seventy-three years of age, feeble, and indigent, in the event of another application being made, it will be considered that Timothy Crotty is entitled to the pension?


I am unable to predict what decision would be given by the pension authorities in the event of Crotty making a fresh claim to an old age pension.


asked the Chief Secretary whether he can state the grounds on which the Enniskillen Pension Sub-Committee have refused an old age pension to Mrs. Catherine M'Spirit, Legnagay, Bohi; whether Mrs. M'Spirit has appealed to the Local Government Board from the decision of the sub-committee; whether the Local Government Board have considered her appeal; and whether he can state the decision of the Local Government Board?


The Enniskillen Pension Sub-Committee allowed a question raised by the pension officer on the ground that Catherine M'Spirit was under the statutory age. No trace of her parents' family could be found in the Census Return of 1841; but in the return of 1851 her parents were recorded as having been married in 1842, and having two children, Catherine and Francis, aged seven and five years respectively. Mrs. M'Spirit has lodged an appeal with the Local Government Board against the decision of the sub-committee; but, in view of the case pending in the House of Lords to determine the jurisdiction of the pension authorities to deal with questions raised respecting the age of pensioners, the Board are not at present in a position to give a decision on the appeal.


asked what were the items upon which the pension officer based his calculations of the means derived from the holding of John Potter, of Rhinetulla, Adare, county Limerick, thereby reducing his pension from 5s. to 2s. a week, against the decision of the Rath-keale Sub-Committee?


Of the twenty one statute acres of land held by Potter the Pension Officer ascertained that 8¾ acres were held under tillage, the crops being as follows:—Three acres of oats, three roods potatoes, three roods wheat, three acres hay, one acre and one rood mangolds and turnips. Potter also had a horse and some fowl. His case is at present before the Local Government Board again on a question he has raised that he is entitled to the full pension of 5s. a week.


asked on what grounds Mrs. Brewer, Caherciveen, county Kerry, has not been granted an old age pension, although she has procured all the evidence possible to establish her claim?


I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to a similar question asked by him on the 28th April last. Since that date Mrs. Brewer has made a fresh claim, which on appeal has been disallowed by the Local Government Board, on the ground that the evidence submitted was insufficient to prove that she had reached the statutory age.