Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Wicklow Poor Rate Collection.

asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he is aware that the Wicklow County Council after a very exhaustive discussion and being in possession of all the facts relating thereto, gave by resolution to their poor rate collectors certain ratepayers in their county a period of one month, ending on the 14th January, 1934, within which to pay a moiety of their poor rates; and further, if he is aware that the refusal to sanction such concession or to receive a deputation of councillors and ratepayers will hinder the Wicklow County Council in their endeavour to have the poor rate collection for the financial year 1933-1934 satisfactorily closed in County Wicklow without inflicting hardships on the ratepayers.

The Wicklow County Council passed the resolution referred to. The secretary of the council, as was his duty, warned the council that they had exceeded their powers. I have written to the council strongly deprecating their action. Even if so disposed I would have no power to give approval to the council's action.

As regards the last part of the question, it is clear that the action of the council has retarded the collection of rates needed for the maintenance of public services and has been prejudicial to the interests of the ratepayers generally.

Is the Minister aware that by his action in the beginning of last year in withholding a large sum of money from the relief of rates on agricultural land from the Wicklow County Council, he increased, after the Wicklow County Council had considered their estimate, the total warrant from the sum of £73,000 to £92,000—that is, an additional £19,000 added to the warrant that year to be collected—and is no consideration to be given to a public body trying to carry on in the difficult circumstances brought about initially by the Minister's action?

That question does not arise.

It arises for the Wicklow County Council.

But not for the Deputy.