It is plain that, if the public authorities choose to give what is, in effect, a bounty on the production of any commodity largely consumed by poor persons, and so to enable that commodity to be bought by them below cost price, a number of people, who would otherwise have failed to reach one or more of the minimum standards that have been set up, may now succeed in reaching them. This statement is true equally, whether the commodity sold to the poor at less than cost is house accommodation, or clothes, or food, or anything else that they are accustomed to buy: and it is also, of course, true equally, whether the bounty takes the open form of a subsidy to production by private enterprise, or the concealed form of production at a loss by the public authorities themselves. In the current practice of the United Kingdom such subsidies are not given as regards articles of food and clothing, but they are given as regards education, insurance against sickness, and, in selected trades, insurance against unemployment. In Ireland, under the Irish
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SOME ASPECTS OF THE HOUSING PROBLEM