HC Deb 07 February 1911 vol 21 c250W

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that the Local Government Board have directed the Irish boards of guardians not to make any reduction in their current estimates in respect of the diminished cost of relief owing to the removal of the pauper disqualification for old age pensions, and have grounded their action on the statement that they have been in communication with the Government, and have been given to understand that it is still intended to compel the unions to contribute towards the cost of pensions in such cases; if he is aware that the Irish boards of guardians have in general refused to provide for legislative proposals not yet even discussed in Parliament by increasing their estimates beyond present legal requirements; if the English Local Government Board has instructed boards of guardians that they are not compellable to do more than provide for the requirements of the existing law; and, under these circumstances, will the Irish Local Government Board be directed to drop their attempt to enforce a different rule as to hypothetical legislation?


The statements in the first two paragraphs of the Question are substantially correct. I understand that the English Local Government Board have not issued any such instructions as those mentioned. The action of the Local Government Board in Ireland was prompted by a desire to inform the boards of guardians that it was possible they might be called upon to make a contribution towards the cost of pensions, as public bodies in Ireland frequently complain of no notice being given to them of possible claims upon their Budgets. There is nothing for me to interfere with as the circular has appeared.