Written Answers. - Value Added Tax.

Tony Gregory

Question:

442 Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Finance if he will remove the VAT on the annual charge for the emergency response for the elderly. [19370/00]

I assume the Deputy is referring to the VAT charged on the annual charge for monitored security systems. I should explain that the position is governed by EU VAT law with which Irish VAT law must comply. We can retain the zero rating provisions which were in existence on 1 January 1991, but cannot introduce any new ones. Therefore, it is not possible to zero rate the annual charge for the emergency response for the elderly. In addition, EU VAT law requires that VAT apply to the annual charge for the emergency response regardless of the status of the user of the service and it is not open to me to remove VAT from this charge for the elderly.

Tony Gregory

Question:

443 Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Finance if he will introduce a VAT exemption for child care providers in view of the rising costs involved for working parents. [19371/00]

The provision of child care is already exempted from VAT as a result of section 110, Finance Act, 1997. Exempted activities such as child care do not charge VAT on the services they provide, but, as a necessary corollary, they are unable to recover the VAT they bear on the goods and services purchased, including any construction carried out in the course of their activities.