§ Colonel Sir J. CRAIG
asked the Secretary to the Treasury, with regard to the local taxation account and 46W the capitation Grant of 4s. per week for the maintenance of pauper lunatics in Ireland, to what extent the War has affected the ability of the local taxation account to meet the charges on it, and what proportion of the Grant this account will be capable of discharging in the years ending 31st March, 1918 and 1919, respectively?
§ Mr. DUKE
The annual income of the branch of the local taxation account, from which the capitation Grant in aid of the maintenance of pauper lunatics is defrayed, consists of the proceeds of local taxation licence duties collected in Ireland in the previous year and a fixed Grant of £79,000. For the five years 1909–10 to 1913–14 the average amount of the licence duties was £212,916, and for the four years 1914–16 to 1917–18 the average of these duties was £211,052. Owing to the insufficiency of income of the account in the present financial year to meet in full the charges payable there out, it has become necessary under Section 58 (5) of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898, to abate the charges by 12.27 per cent. The insufficiency of income of the account which arose for the first time in 1911–12 is not due to the decline since 1914 in receipts during the War, but to the growth for many years past of the charges against the account, mainly in connection with the cost of maintenance of the insane poor. The condition of the account in 1918–19 and its ability to bear the charges against it cannot at present be estimated.