§ Mr. GUINEY
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether, in the case of the appeal by the pension officer against the decision of the Newmarket, county Cork, sub-pensions committee in granting a pension to Michael Sheehy, the evidence of the independent valuer, who is a licensed auctioneer and valuer, was taken into consideration; and, taking into account the difference of opinion between the sub-pensions committee, the valuer, and the pension officer, will he ask the Local Government Board to send one of their inspectors to report on the case?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Local Government Board had the valuer's estimate referred to before them when determining Michael Sheehy's claim, but it appeared that the valuer in making his valuation was not fully cognisant of all the privileges reserved by Sheehy when assigning his farm to his son. In any event, the considerations for which the farm was assigned were so inadequate that the Board had no option but to deal with the case as coming within the meaning of Section 4 (3) of the Old Age Pensions Act, 1908, and disallow his claim for pension. As the case has been decided the Board have no power to reopen consideration of the matter.
§ Mr. GUINEY
asked the Chief Secretary on what basis the pension officers calculate the cost of maintenance of applicants for old age pensions; is it according to their manner of living before applying for the pension, or are the present circumstances of the applicant taken into consideration; and is he aware that in several cases in the mountainous districts of Cork County the cost of maintenance is valued at 13s. a week, whilst in other cases of the same description the cost of maintenance is valued at 7s. a week?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
The pension officers' estimates of the money value of maintenance to applicants for an old age pension are based on the actual circumstances of each case as ascertained on investigation. There is necessarily considerable difference between the circumstances of one case and another which might well result in as wide a variation in the estimated value as that mentioned in the last part of the question.