§ Mr. Redmond
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will seek to increase the amount of grants for the compulsory conversion of existing fireplaces under the smokeless zone regulations to cover the amount of VAT now chargeable on the work.
§ Mr. Eyre
Grant is payable both on installation costs and on the costs of appliances. My right hon. and learned Friend expects local authorities, in assessing grant payable towards the former, to take value-added tax into account. As regards the latter, several approved appliances were formerly subject to purchase tax, which now no longer forms part of the cost of the purchaser. The cost limits on appliances approved by my right hon. and learned Friend for the purposes of assessing grant are subject to periodical reviews, in which current costs to the landlord or householder are, of course, a primary consideration. The last such review took place in May 1971, when the new limits included margins for a measure of future inflation, and I am currently considering a further review. Local authorities have discretionary powers to pay additional grant up to 100 per cent. in exceptional and deserving cases.