With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 23 and 24 together.
In my reply to Question No. 40 of 29th October, 1974, I indicated the steps I had taken to assist householders whose houses have no fireplaces and are heated by means of central heating only. It is open to them to apply for reconstruction grants to install in their houses fireplaces or solid fuel burning appliances. Tenants of local authority houses may, with the consent of their local authority, avail of these grants. With the supplementary grant, the total grants may come to two-thirds of the cost of the work up to a maximum grant of £400 in each case. It is also open to health boards or county councils, if they consider that the need exists, to provide financial assistance towards heating costs to persons on low incomes under their home assistance schemes.
The question of providing subsidy towards fuel costs is a matter for the Minister for Transport and Power.