HC Deb 07 March 1911 vol 22 cc1167-70W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the removal of the pauper disqualification for old age pensions will not diminish the expenditure of either the London County Council or the metropolitan borough councils; and, if so, will he explain why they are to be deprived of their share of the Land Values Duties?


The expenditure incurred by London ratepayers will be perceptibly diminished by the proposals of the Government in reference to local taxation, and no further explanation would therefore appear to be necessary.


asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland on what evidence the Local Government Board have decided to withdraw from Edward Rielly, of Lisannedden, parish of Ardagh, county Longford, his pension, or had the Board no better evidence than that Rielly's mother was married in 1837; and will he see that this man has his pension restored, as he has two gentlemen, one a deputy-lieutenant of the county, to assert that Rielly is over the statutory age?


The Local Government Board allowed the pension officer's question on the ground that Edward Rielly was under the statutory age. The claimant would appear to be now about sixty-nine, and will not therefore be eligible for a pension for another year.


asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether he will say what was the amount paid in respect of old age pensions in the county of Carnarvon during the year 1910?


I hope to issue an Annual Return as part of the Annual Report of the Customs and Excise Departments, of the number of old age pensioners in each county and county borough area of the United Kingdom. I fear I cannot anticipate this Return by giving special figures for particular counties.


asked the Chief Secretary whether the Local Government Board has any record of the pension claim of Robert Watson, of Cam Ederny, county Fermanagh; and, if so, can he state from such record why this man, who has neither land nor other means, is only allowed 28. a week?


Two shillings was the rate of pension allowed by the local pension committee who adjudicated on Watson's claim. There was no appeal to the Local Government Board, and I have no authority to interfere in the matter.


asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that a demand to pay Income Tax was made on William Jones, of Boleylug, county Wicklow; that William Jones is an old age pensioner, receiving as such 2s. a week; and that demands are being made on many people of scant means in portions of the counties of Wicklow, Carlow, and Kildare, in Baltinglass union, and presumably all throughout Ireland; and if he will give instructions to the collectors of Income Tax in such cases to inform their superior officers of the circumstances of the claims, and arrange that rebates, in cases where the claims have been paid, shall be made without delay?


I am making inquiry into this case, and will communicate the result to the hon. Member.


asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether the pensions officer, at Rathdrum, county Wicklow, has complained to his official superiors of the heavy work put before him, and of the size of the district assigned to him; whether his recent illness was certified to be due to overwork; and whether some rearrangement will be made in this case?


The officer in question has complained of heavy work from time to time, but adequate assistance has been given him on each occasion, and there is no substantial ground for complaint. The medical certificate furnished by him in connection with his recent illness did not state that the illness was due to overwork. The question of rearranging the area of the station is being considered.


asked the Chief Secretary if he will state the grounds on which James Sheridan, of Drumhaldry, county Longford, who was granted, by the Ballinamuck Sub-committee, a pension of 5s. weekly on 2nd November, 1909, was deprived of the same; whether he is aware that by purchase agreement, dated 27th April, 1910, the farm of which he was alleged to be the tenant passed to his son, Eugene Sheridan; and will he now direct that the matter be re-opened and the pension paid to James Sheridan, as originally passed by the pension committee?


In September last the Local Government Board upheld an appeal of the pension officer against a decision of the Ballinamuck Pension Sub-Committee awarding James Sheridan a pension of 5s. a week, on the ground that his means exceeded the statutory limit. The claim on which this decision was given was made in February, 1910, prior to the signing of the purchase agreement by the son in April; and no reason was given for the transfer of the farm by James Sheridan. A fresh claim is at present being investigated by the Board.


asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware that John Devaney, of Mulcan, Glencar, Bundoran district, No. 3109, who is over eighty years of age has been deprived of an old age pension on the ground of means, and whether, having regard to the fact that he assigned his farm to his son in June, 1909, in a marriage settlement, and at present has no personal means of support, he will be granted a pension with all arrears?


The case of John Devaney has come before the Local Government Board on appeal and has been referred to one of their inspectors for a report.


asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware that Thomas Mawn, East Bars, Manorhamilton district. No. 775, who was in receipt of an old age pension from the 26th December, 1908, to the 10th of September, 1909, was, in pursuance of the decision of the Local Government Board, deprived of the same on the ground that his age could not be found in the Census of 1841 or 1851; and whether Mawn, having since produced a baptismal certificate from the parish registry showing that he is over 70 years of age, is now entitled to the full pension?


In September, 1909, and March, 1910, the Local Government Board upheld the appeals of the pension officer in this case, as they were not satisfied that Thomas Mawn had attained the statutory-age. A third claim, supported by a certificate that Mawn was baptised on the 11th October, 1840, is now being investigated by the Board on appeal. If the certificate prove to be in order and the claimant otherwise eligible, he will be duly awarded a pension.