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Poor Law—Returns Of Pauperism

Volume 202: debated on Monday 27 June 1870

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Question

said, he wished to ask the President of the Poor Law Board, Whether he is of opinion that a very erroneous impression exists as to number of able-bodied paupers receiving in-door and out-door relief on account of want of work and destitution; and, if so, whether it is not caused by the mode in which the Returns are made to the Poor Law Board; whether it would be desirable to separate the Return of those receiving relief on account of the sickness of the head or a member of the family from that of paupers relieved on account of destitution from want of work; and, whether he has any objection to state the number of that class receiving relief on the 1st of this month not including vagrants?

Sir, I am of opinion that an erroneous impression exists as to the numbers of able-bodied paupers receiving out-door relief on account of their want of work, and I think the form in which the Returns are presented to the public has contributed to that result. Arrangements have been made by which, in future, the Returns will show more accurately the various classes to which the paupers belong. I should have no objection to state the number of the paupers relieved on account of destitution on the 1st of this month, if it were not the case that the Returns giving that information are made up only for the 1st of January and the 1st of July. I should estimate the total number of adult able-bodied male paupers in receipt of out-door relief to be less than 3 per cent of the total number of out-door poor.