HC Deb 29 November 1920 vol 135 cc937-8W

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware of the serious dissatisfaction which at present prevails among the Irish lady teacher pensioners on account of the basis upon which their pensions are regulated; whether, under the Act of 1879, they retired with a pension of £34 whilst by the Act of 1914 their pensions were increased from March of that year in accordance with salary and length of service to sums varying from £44 to £48; whether their present pensions are calculated on the former basis with the result that, instead of receiving pensions varying from £66 to £72, the actual increase amounts to only from £3 to £7; why in this matter the Irish teachers are discriminated against as compared with Scottish teachers who receive £40 in each case; and whether, seeing that male teachers are similarly treated, he is prepared to consider the matter with a view to redressing this injustice?


I am aware of the dissatisfaction to which my hon. Friend refers and the position of pensioned Irish teachers is already receiving my earnest attention. It is true that £34 was often the amount of a teacher's pension under the rules made in 1897 under the Act of 1897. Under the rules of the 9th October, 1914, increased pensions were granted on account of service and salary amounting in many cases to £44 or £48, but often to larger sums. The Schedule to the Pensions (Increase) Act provides for the calculation of the percentage increases granted under that Act to be based on the former pensions. The actual increase has consequently in some cases been only a few pounds, though increases amounting to £48 have been granted. There is no question of discrimination under the Pensions (Increase) Act against Irish teachers as compared with Scottish teachers; the Statutes relating to Irish and Scottish education are, of course, distinct.