HC Deb 01 December 1938 vol 342 cc614-5W
Mr. R. Gibson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that the burden borne by the local authorities in Scotland for public assistance has risen from £3,800,000 in 1930–31 to about £7,000,000 in the last financial year; and whether he will consider the initiation of legislation to transfer 50 per cent. of this burden to the National Exchequer?

Mr. Wedderburn

The figures which the hon. and learned Member gives are the approximate amounts of the gross Poor Law expenditure in Scotland in the years 1930–31 and 1936–37. There fell to be deducted certain receipts which in the latter year included nearly £1,400,000 paid by the State to compensate local authorities for the postponement of the second appointed day under the Unemployment Assistance Act of 1934. The gross expenditure in 1937–38 is estimated at about £5,500,000. The proposal in the last part of the question was put forward by representatives of local authorities whom my right hon. Friend met in Glasgow last Saturday. I am not in a position to make any statement.