Repayments to the Local Loans Fund.

Part of Civil Services and Revenue Depart Ments Supplementary Estimate, 1921–22. – in the House of Commons on 20th February 1922.

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This Supplementary Estimate is for repayments in respect of advances in Northern Ireland on account of the Local Loans Fund. This is a purely formal Vote, containing no fresh money at all. It will add not a pound or a shilling to the expense of the Exchequer in addition to the original provision for the year. It is formally necessitated by the setting up of the Government of Northern Ireland, and by the transfer to that Government of its powers on the 22nd November last. It will be within the knowledge of the Committee that money is advanced out of the Local Loans Fund to local authorities for public works, and that it is repaid in the form of instalments of principal and interest to the Public Works Loans Commissioners for the Local Loans Fund. That is the ordinary procedure. The institution of a Government of Northern Ireland on the 22nd November has made it necessary to follow a rather more elaborate and a little more indirect method of financing as regards the Fund. Under the Government of Ireland Bill— and I should mention that all these provisions are either contained in or follow necessarily upon the Government of Ireland Act—the Government of Northern Ireland will retain the instalments of principal and interest for local loans which are collected in its territory. In order to make good those sums retained by the Government of Northern Ireland, we vote this money back to the Local Loans Fund from the Exchequer, and then, finally, we square accounts by deducting an equivalent amount to that amount which we here vote from the Northern Irish residuary share of her revenue, and so the result comes to exactly the same thing in the long run as it did before the new arrangement, but, owing to the new arrangement, this formal authority of Parliament is necessary at this time.