I move amendment No. 2:—
In sub-section (1), after paragraph (c) to add a new paragraph as follows:—
(d) by the addition of a new paragraph as follows:—
(k) in reckoning the rateable value, or the aggregate of rateable values, for the purpose of this section, there shall be excluded from such reckoning any increase in valuation arising out of the sale of turf to county councils or under other schemes due to the existence of war or emergency conditions.
The principal section that is being amended by this Bill, that is Section 5 of the Principal Act, contains provisions by which persons who derive their livelihood mainly from agricultural pursuits shall get certain grants, varying according to the valuation of the holdings they occupy. For instance, a person deriving his livelihood solely or mainly from the pursuit of agriculture is entitled under the Act, and will continue to be entitled under this Bill, if his valuation does not exceed £15, to a grant of £70 to enable him to build a house. If, however, his valuation is between £15 and £25, he is only entitled to a grant of £60.
If his valuation is more than £25, he is only entitled to a grant of £45. I am moving that, in considering the valuation for the purpose of fixing a grant that a person will be entitled to under sub-section (c) of the Principal Act, regard shall not be had to any increase in the valuation that has been made as a result of turf sold off a holding to the county council or to any other specially organised agency set up under emergency conditions for the provision of fuel for emergency purposes. From the cases in North Tipperary where increases of this particular kind have taken place I should like to take some samples. There is the case of one person whose old valuation was £16. If that man wanted to build a house, he would be entitled to receive a grant of £60, because his valuation lay between £15 and £20. But, after supplying turf to the county council for a couple of years, he found, quite unexpectedly, that an extra £25 was added on to his valuation, which raised it for the purposes of the Act to £41, so that, instead of being entitled to a grant of £60, he would only be entitled to a grant of £45.
Another case is that of a person whose old valuation was £20. After selling turf to the county council for four years, I think, he found his valuation suddenly increased by £21 to £41. In the same way, the grant to which he would be entitled under the Housing Act is reduced by £15. As a result of what is going on, and arising entirely out of emergency conditions and the fact that the turf was sold in emergency conditions, a number of people are not only finding themselves unexpectedly saddled with substantially increased rates, but in the position, if this amendment is not accepted, that they are likely to be deprived of portion of a grant that they were normally intended to receive under the Housing Act, based on the original valuation of their holdings. That would be an outrageous wrong perpetrated on the men who would suffer in this particular way. I move this amendment therefore so that, whatever may happen when we ultimately get a chance of trying to redress the wrongs they are suffering from, at any rate they will not be wronged under the operation of the Housing Act. Does the Minister accept the amendment?