Chapter 10The End of the Poor Law, 1907–1914 237
Chapter 10 The End of the Poor Law, 1907–1914 This chapter looks at the poor law in the period to the outbreak of war in 1914. Although the poor law was not abolished (at least in name) in south- ern Ireland until 1922 and in Northern Ireland until after the Second World War, this is the period in which decisions to introduce old age pensions and unemployment and national health insurance really marked the end of the poor law as the main system of relief, although the poor law and its successors continued (and continue) to play an important role in Irish social policy. Key poor relief trends The percentage of the population on poor relief fell over the period. The fall was greater in outdoor relief (36 per cent) than it was for indoor relief (20 per cent), and with outdoor relief the main fall came after 1911.1 This fall was largely as a result of the introduction of the old age pension with the dropping of the poor relief disqualification in January 1911 leading to the more rapid fall in relief levels. Ref lecting the fall in the numbers on relief the total expenditure also fell but by only 8 per cent in the period between 1909 and 1913. The fact that expenditure fell more slowly than the fall in the number of claimants was, at least in part, due the boards (i) having to spend more per head (due to rising prices and/or the fact that...
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