§ Mr. Powell
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects to complete his consultations on the correction of the anomaly whereby car mileage allowances are paid at higher rates to servants of the electricity boards, including the NIES, and members of electricity consumer councils than to civil servants.
§ Mr. Orme
My written reply of 5th November last—[Vol. 899, c. 161–2]—concerned only the mileage rates for members of the Northern Ireland Electricity Consumers' Council. I shall consider the position further when the findings of the National Consumers' Council, which is at present reviewing the structure of consumer representation in the nationalised industries, are known. However, I do not expect that this review will throw up any reason for making the rates for members of the Northern Ireland Council different from those for members of the Consumers' Councils in England and Wales.
Mileage rates for members and staff of the Northern Ireland Electricity Service similarly follow the corresponding rates in England and Wales; the Northern 721W Ireland Electricity Service determines them on the same basis as the Electricity Council determines the rates for the industry in England and Wales.
I agree that the present differences between these rates and those of the Civil Service could be regarded as anomalous; I could not, however, change them at this stage without creating fresh anomalies.