asked the Minister of Health what sum was paid out in the Barnsley Union by the guardians in relief during the stoppage in the coal industry last year; what sum has been repaid; what has been the cost to the guardians by way of cost of collection, interest, and bad debts; and whether any means exists or will be sought by his Department to protect the general body of ratepayers against being saddled with such burdens?
I am informed that during the period referred to a sum of £46,892 was paid as relief on loans by the guardians of the Barnsley Union, and that £15,154 has been repaid to the guardians up to the present time. The cost of collection amounted to £800, and the amount of interest paid by the guardians up to the 31st March last, on overdrafts or other loans, was £752. No part of the money paid has yet been written off as irrecoverable. If a ratepayer considers that any expenditure has been unlawfully incurred, it is open to him to raise objection to such expenditure at the audit of the guardians' accounts.