HC Deb 29 November 1922 vol 159 cc715-6W

asked the First Commissioner of Works, as representing the Secretary for Scotland, what steps the Government are taking to recoup the parish councils in Scotland for payments made to the unemployed, in view of the burden on the Poor Rate in industrial centres?


While the Government are not prepared to recoup Poor Law authorities for payments made to the unemployed, the following measures have been taken to assist them in the relief of able-bodied unemployed, namely:—

  1. (a)Under Section 2 of the Poor Law Emergency Provisions (Scotland) Act, 1921, parish councils in Scotland are enabled to borrow, on the security of the rates, such sums for the relief of unemployment as the Scottish Board of Health may-approve, and, with the like approval, to spread the repayment over a period not exceeding five or, in very exceptional cases, 10 years.
  2. (b)Loans from public funds may be made on the recommendation of the Goschen Committee to such councils as are unable, owing to financial difficulties, to raise the money locally. In specially hard cases a suspension of payment of interest on such loans may be allowed for a period not exceeding five years.
In addition to the foregoing direct assistance, parish councils have obtained substantial relief through the extension of unemployment benefit and the estab- lishment of relief works by local authorities, with the assistance of contributions from public funds. But for these measures the burden upon parish councils would have been much heavier.