§ Mr. O'SHAUGHNESSY
asked whether the masters of workhouses are empowered to deduct from old age pension inmates of the workhouse hospitals a portion of their pensions towards the cost of their maintenance; whether, when a pensioner is unable to leave the hospital and is willing to pay a weekly sum towards the cost of his maintenance, the pension officers would in such a case be entitled to stop his pension; and has the pension officer power to take away the pension books of those persons who remain in the workhouse hospital for over three months?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The reply to the first paragraph of the question is in the negative. All persons in receipt of Poor Relief are disqualified for the receipt of a pension under Section 3 (1) (a) of the Act of 1908, unless their case comes under one or other of the provisos to the Sub-section. Repayment of cost of maintenance does not remove the disqualification incurred under this Section, except in the case of a person admitted to a workhouse infirmary for medical treatment who upon admission claimed to pay, and has actually paid, the full average cost of maintenance. By Section 6 (4) of the Old Age Pensions Act, 1911, when a question is raised that a pensioner is disqualified for the receipt of a 723W pension, and it is alleged that the disqualification is continuing or has ceased less than three weeks prior to the raising of the question the payment of the pension is to be discontinued pending the determination of the question by the pension committee, or in the case of an appeal by the Local Government Board.