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THE CHARITABLE AID BILL.

The Vprcial Committee appointed by tie City Council to consider the provisions of the proposed Hospitals and Charitable Aid Bill brought up their report, as already published, at last night's meeting of the City Council At the it'd nest of the Mayor, Or Solomon moved the adoption of the report. In bo doing lie said that the result of the Bill, if it became law, would ho to relievo the Government of very large expenditure on outdoor relief, to throw a largo amount of work on the City Corporation and a great expense on ratepayers, to relieve wealthy counties from payments on outdoor relief, to compel small municipalities either to allow their poor to starve or increase their rates, and to make tbe Council and corporate bodies pay 1d,500 per annum to an institution over wbicli they had no control. So far as management was concerned, there did not seem to he any improvement, and it seemed to him that they would have all to lose and nothing to gain. 1 hey would have three Institutions to manage, with increased clerical staff and increased expense, and the result would be of no benefit to the Council or to the ratepayers. The abolition tf the present boards would simply concentrate the law, and would in no sense improve it. No proper represent!tion was provided. County road boards, and boroughs would provide two-thirds of the funds, but city ojunoils would hare the entire management of them. A great loss to the community would be that of the 24i to 20a subsidy—that meant a loss of LSOO per annum to the Benevolent Institution and L3OO to the Hospital, and these deficits would have to be made up by the ratepayers. Under such circumstances private eubsciiplions wou’d be abolished, for people could not be expected to sub-ctibe where they hod no voice in the management in the va7 of electing t ustees. It would be an inj.stice to the people who had raised up the Benevolent Institution—an institution of which they might all ba proud—if the L2O COO worth of property were taken away, and no power of management left them. Ho v could they t xpect people to take on interest in such institutions in future or to contribute voluntarily towards fun a over winch they would havo na control ? After referring to the questi >n of overlapping, which would be far worse with ten organisations distributing outdoor relief within two miles of the Dunedin Post Office, the speaker went on to say ihat tbe municipalities would have to pay mo-e than they did at present. He had prepared the following table to show the difference : - Alloca'ion tf the foregoing churltnb'e old expenditure (shillings and pence omitted) amongst contributing local bodies in the dl strict as par terms of the proposed new Act:—

Those increased amounts were all to be accounted for by the Government rnbsidy being swept away. The Council would have t> take up one of three positions : they would have to dispense outdoor relief on the same scale as the Benevolent Institution, which would cost 1,2,000 more than at present. Or, if they liked to spend LB4 a year more than at present —making L 1,842 instead of LI, 758-they would pay L 492 towards the suppo’t of children in the Industrial School, L3OO to the Benevolent, LSO to the Kefuge, and LI,OOO in outdoor relit f. The ro-u't of that would bo to cut down outdoor relief by two third-". In other words. Persons njw getting 3 i per we'k from theßenevolo* t Institution would bo cut down to Is, ar.d would consequently be driven into the Benevolent li.ati'iuion. The other alternative was to jrovidj for tho existing institutions and give nothing for outd ior relief. I y that they wi.u’d save, LfllO per annum, but wou'd ciu-e such misery and incur such rosponsbili-y that he thought they would not bo disp-sed to do it. When the matter was previously d scussed, remarks were mad? wish which he disagreed He hoped they would never tee a worktronsa here, for he thought that the deserving poor would prefer ceatb by slow starvation to going into one. The mayor had said that seventy-one persons were employed in the hospital, but they were not all paid officials. In Dr Ifulme’s time the staff ensisted of twenty-nine persona, with salaries amounting to L 233 a month; now there were thirty-three on the staff, with salaries amounting to only L 172 a month, which showed a saving of L 62 a month. Dr Macgregor'a report to Parliament showed the cost of hospitals to be as follows :

It would bo seen that tho Dunedin Hospital was the cheapest in the colony, with one exception —(Applause.) Cr Carroll seconded the motion, saying that ho hoped the City members would do all in thoir p >wer to havo the Bill postponed till next session

Or Kimbell thought the present Act had not been tried long enough to teat it properly. Cr Hat.VES thought that councillors had quite enough to do at present, and objected to the principles of tho Bill in almost every particular, The Bill was unfair, but seeing the outcry against it from one end of the colony to the oth(f theie was very little chance cf its passing. Cr Cohen said it had been asserted that local bodii s did not unde stand the scope of the Bill ■; if that were so he hoped that they would remain In their state of ignorance. The Dialing of the proposed burden on them was not fair, just, or desirable, and whoa such radical changes as this were in contemplation the Government should see that ample notice of such action was given. In this only fourteen days’ notice of the Bill had been given. However, he believed that it pould never be found to be part of the law of the land. The Mayor remarked that he had never said the hospital was badly conducted, but that under tho provincial sy.tem the patients numbered nearly double those of to-day, while the attendants numbered only twcni y-fiyo. The average,cost per head was less than now, and the death rate was also leas. They had now thirty-three paid attendants, three house surgeons, nine honorary Eurgeons, twenty students, and ten Trustees doing tb.e wot|c that twenty-five persons had previously done-and no better, and much more expensively. The motion was carried unanimously.

Name of Lccal Body. For Maintenance of Institutions and Industrial School Children. Outdoor Relief. Total. Present Contribution. £ £ £ £ Walkoualli County 116 149 265 224 Waihemo County ... 04 26 124 190 Talerl Comity 287 254 642 655 Bruce County 191 166 830 874 Clutha County 214 OS 278 414 Peninsula Road Board .. 54 32 87 106 Pwrtobbllo Hoad Board .. 32 65 97 61 Palmer-ton Borough 11 124 136 22 Dunedin C:ty tm 2910 38 1 1758 Cavmsham Borough 99 417 676 192 South Dunedin Borough.. 75 426 602 146 St. Kilda Borough.. 8.1 172 106 63 Mornington Borough 70 109 186 148 Rualvn Borough .. 86 10 218 167 Maori UIII Borough 43 83 75 82 North-euBtValley Borough 05 231 296 126 West Harbor Borough .. SO 03 129 71 PortChalraora Borough .. 43 161 205 84 Hawkesbury Borough .. 11 70 82 22 Green Inland Borough .. 12 83 03 24 Milton Borough .. 20 65 83 £0 Baiolutba Borough 17 19 87 33 Mosgicl Borough .. 26 93 124 60 Kaitangat* Borough 10 85 61 81 Totals ~ 2688 5936 8574 4096

Patients Cress Annual Cost per Day. under ExpendiTreatment. ture. £ ». d. t. d. Christchurch .. 648 7,202 3 6 6 Ci Wo'liiitfton .. 809 10.S04 B 1 i 2} Dunedin .. .. 981 7,110 2 1 2 Ki Auckland .. 1,012 C 019 2 11 2 8}

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

THE CHARITABLE AID BILL., Evening Star, Issue 7956, 11 July 1889

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1,290

THE CHARITABLE AID BILL. Evening Star, Issue 7956, 11 July 1889

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