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Poor Law Officers' (Ireland) Superannuation

Volume 92: debated on Tuesday 23 April 1901

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I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the Irish Poor Law Officers' Association has made itself responsible for a statement to the effect that the passage into law of the Poor Law Officers' Superannuation (Ireland) Bill would mean a saving to local rates, and that solely on the strength of this representation certain boards of guardians are giving sanction to the Bill; whether the Government will obtain a report from a competent actuary as to the probable effect of the Bill on local rates, having regard to the experience of the working of the English Act of 1896, and to the fact that the Bill proposes to include those giving only a portion of time to the service; and whether the information so obtained will be placed in the hands of Members before the Second Reading of the Bill.

The Bill is down for Second Reading on Friday, 3rd May. The Government will be prepared to accept the Second Reading on the understanding that the Bill be referred to a Select Committee, with a view to ascertaining the ultimate actuarial effect of the measure on local rates. For this purpose it is proposed to employ a competent; actuary.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that before the English Bill became law the cost was £6,200 annually, whereas it is now £74,000?

Does not the right hon. Gentleman consider it his duty as the representative of the Irish Government in this House to place in the hands of hon. Members a statement as to the probable effect of this Bill on the rates of Ireland?

Yes, and I propose to accomplish that object by placing the information at the disposal of the Select Committee.

I cannot give it before the Second Reading, but if hon. Members will allow the Bill to be read a second time—

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The hon. Member is not entitled to preface a question by arguments and comments.

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The right hon. Gentleman has stated that the Government are prepared to take the time of the House to promote the interests of a certain organisation in Ireland. Why will he not also take time for necessary legislation?

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