To ask the Minister for Local Government whether he is aware that in many districts local public bodies have superannuated comparatively young officials, physically and otherwise fit for many years more of useful public service, and appointed new officials in their place, thus creating a double set of officials, and, consequently, adding unnecessarily to the burden which the taxpayers are called upon to pay; whether the Minister recognises that this practice is an abuse of the system of awarding pensions, and, if so, what steps he proposes to take to check this abuse?

Under the schemes for the amalgamation of unions, which have resulted in great economies in local administration some retirements on superannuation of comparatively young officials have been unavoidable.

The policy of the Ministry has been to reduce retirements on superannuation to a minimum, consistent with securing the most efficient persons for new local appointments.