§ Mr. PATRICK O'BRIEN
asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware that the old age pension of Mrs. Bridget Bryant, of Kilkenny, was stopped on the grounds that she recently married a man named Sheehan now serving in the Navy; whether the remarriage of an old age pensioner is held to be grounds for stopping her pension; and, if not, will he see that her pension is restored to her and all arrears due to her owing to the stoppage paid up?
§ Mr. DUKE
I am informed that Mrs. Bryant's marriage took place some years ago, and that her pension has not been stopped on account of her marriage. When her husband was called up she received allotment and separation allowance of 16s. a week, which increased her means, previously estimated at £20 12s., to over £31 10s. a year, the statutory limit, and rendered her ineligible for the continuance of the pension of 5s. a week which she had been drawing.
§ Mr. GINNELL
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that the Local Government Board for Ireland hold that although an old person has long ceased to be effective owner, and become in fact a lodger, a son having paid debts and arrears of rent and tacitly become owner of the home and he and his wife having stocked it and bought and sold for years, yet the old person, entitled to an old age pension, is refused one and treated as owner of everything, no legal transfer having been executed; and whether the Government will reconsider this interpretation of the Old Age Pensions Act and 1558W have a fresh claim allowed in the case of a claimant, named Keogh, at Finea, West-meath, in the circumstances stated?
§ Mr. DUKE
The Irish Local Government Board have given no such decision as that stated in the question. Each case submitted to the Board is dealt with on its merits. In the case to which the hon. Member refers, the Board were not satisfied that the claimant Keogh had ceased to be the effective owner or that the stock on the farm did not belong to him.
§ Mr. BYRNE
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether clerks to old-age pensions committees in Ireland are placed at a disadvantage in the matter of remuneration as compared with similar officials in Great Britain, inasmuch as the Irish clerks receive and are paid only in respect of disputed Army separation claims whilst clerks in Great Britain receive and are paid in respect of all claims, disputed or otherwise; and if he will consider the advisability of placing the Irish clerks on the same basis of remuneration as their British colleagues?
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
I am aware that certain work in connection with separation allowances which is performed by clerks to local pension committees in Great Britain is not performed by clerks to local pension committees in Ireland. The latter are, however, already paid for the work actually performed by them on a basis of remuneration which is in no case less favourable than that in force in Great Britain, and is in some cases more favourable.