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Boards Of Guardians (Financial Position)

Volume 155: debated on Tuesday 20 June 1922

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asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that 51 of the Poor Law authorities have from Michaelmas, 1920, up to the week ending 4th March, 1922, relieved 133,003 cases of unemployment; that relief to the unemployed has already cost the guardians the sum of £5,608,109, and in the case of 33 Boards of Guardians, in addition to the sum raised from local rates, they have been compelled to borrow by means of loans and bank overdrafts the sum of £2,557,373 to defray additional expenditure owing to this relief; that the total relief granted to unemployed up to the 31st March, 1922, was, respectively, Birmingham £498,000, Manchester £230,000, Sheffield £477,000, West Ham £635,000, Poplar £370,000 and Wandsworth £180,000; that the Birmingham guardians have loans or overdrafts outstanding to 31st March, 1922, incurred through the unemployment relief £410,000, Sheffield £400,000, West Ham £135,000, and Poplar £126,857; that since 31st March, 1922, the financial position of the various Poor Law authorities is very much worse than it was in March; and what action the Government intends taking in the matter?

I am aware of the financial position of the Poor Law authorities referred to. As the hon. Member is aware, the Prime Minister is receiving a deputation on the subject this afternoon.