§ 22. Mr. Booth
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the estimated annual cost of paying the loss of earnings allowance for which provision is made in the Justices of the Peace Act, 1968.
§ Mr. Booth
Will the hon. Gentleman accept that a large part of that £500,000 represents loss of earnings to working men who can ill afford the loss which has been incurred in carrying out their duties to the public when serving as justices of the peace? Unless the 1968 Act is fully implemented soon, will there not inevitably be a detrimental effect on the composition of the bench, since working men will be unable to continue with those duties, and only those with private means will be able to serve as justices of the peace?
§ Mr. Carlisle
Since the reply to the Question gave the estimated cost of paying the loss of earnings allowance, I accept that the vast proportion of the £500,000 I mentioned goes to that cost. As to the merits of the case, I cannot add anything to what was said in an earlier reply, that this matter is at present being considered but that my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary is not yet in a position to make a statement.