HL Deb 13 May 1993 vol 545 cc70-1WA
Lord Blease

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will respond to the statement issued on 20th April 1993 by the General Consumer Council for Northern Ireland, expressing grave concern at the impact of imposing VAT on domestic fuel on consumers in Northern Ireland; and what measures they propose to take to alleviate this impact, in view of the higher than average expenditure per head on heat, light and power, and the lower than average weekly household income, in Northern Ireland as compared with the United Kingdom as a whole.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office (The Earl of Arran)

In view of the decision to charge VAT on domestic fuel, extra financial help will be given from April 1994 to those pensioners and others on low incomes. Details of the precise way in which this extra help will be provided will be announced in the Autumn. The Department of Economic Development will continue to promote vigorously cost effective ways for domestic consumers to use energy more efficiently and hence reduce their energy bills. Almost £1 million is available in the current year to assist low income householders with insulating and draughtproofing their homes.