HC Deb 14 February 1913 vol 48 cc1406-7W

asked the Secretary to the Treasury, if he can furnish the hon. Member for West Mayo with a copy of the local pension officer's estimate of the income of Mary Roache, Fisherhill, county Mayo (Foxford pension sub-district), to whom the Local Government Board has awarded an old age pension of only 3s. per week?


I am afraid it would be contrary to practice to provide the hon. Member with a copy of the pension officer's estimate. The decision of the Local Government Board, which is under the Act final, is independent of the recommendation of the pension officer.


asked the Secretary to the Treasury what basis or principle the pension officers in Ireland calculate the rent or value of an earthen-floor room in a mud-wall cabin in Ireland, which has never been let to a tenant and which is now occupied by applicants or recipients of old age pensions; whether he is aware that the average cost of building one of these houses, in which a room is only a small part, is under £20; and whether he can state the basis or principle of the estimated value of food by the pension officer where the main articles of diet are potatoes and separated milk?


The pension officer's estimate of means in such cases as the hon. Member seems to have in mind is, the best estimate he can make in the light of the facts of each particular case as elicited in the course of investigation. Where the means have to he calculated by reference to any "benefit or privilege" enjoyed by a claimant or pensioner, e.g., in the shape of board and lodging, the estimate should, in accordance with Section 2 (1) (d) of the Old Age Pensions Act, 1911, represent the "yearly value" of such benefit or privilege. I may remind the hon. Member that, in reporting to the committee on any claim or question, the pension officer only expresses his own opinion, which is in no way binding on the committee, or on the Local Government Board if the ease goes to appeal.