Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Free Electricity Allowance.

7.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare why VAT is charged on the free electricity allowance to old age pensioners; and if he intends continuing this practice.

Under provisions of the Finance Acts value-added tax is charged on all electricity consumed. The cost of the free electricity allowance plus the appropriate value-added tax is met by my Department. Accordingly, the cost of the value-added tax is not borne by old age pensioners.

May I, with respect, ask you a question? Why would you not allow me to ask a second supplementary question? It was not controversial but was to elicit information.

I must advise the Deputy the Chair is in sole control of Question Time in respect of the relevance of questions and the number that may be asked.

I accept that completely. I wanted to ask a completely non-controversial question.

Question No. 8.

I would like to point out that the reply seems to indicate that the burden does not fall on the pensioner. I have a case which I will submit to the Parliamentary Secretary where this, in fact, has happened. Perhaps it was a mistake that was made in a certain instance. In case the Parliamentary Secretary feels that the position is 100 per cent correct I would like to assure him that I have come across a mistake where the pensioner is being charged VAT on the free units.

If the Deputy has such a case I would be glad to look into it.

May I further ask you is there one rule for one Deputy in this House and another rule for another?

I must ask the Deputy to please allow Question Time to continue without these unnecessary interruptions.

I have been refused a second supplementary on Question No. 3.