Dáil Éireann - Volume 495 - 03 November, 1998
Written Answers. - Value Added Tax.
Mr. Naughten Mr. Naughten
367. Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Finance the plans, if any, he has to reduce the 21 per cent VAT on telephone calls for elderly people; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21615/98]
Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy) Charlie McCreevy
Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy): The position is that in accordance with EU VAT law, with which Irish law must comply, the rate applying to telephone calls, is the standard rate, which is Ireland is 21 per cent regardless of the status of the customer.
There is an existing telephone allowance scheme which provides free telephone rental to certain people who are aged 66 or over and to certain incapacitated people who may be under age 66. It also provides up to 20 free call units in each two-monthly billing period. This scheme is operated by the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs. I should point out that VAT due on telephone billing charges up to the allowance limit is paid for by that Department. However individuals are required to pay for additional calls above the allowance and the subsequent VAT charges on those calls.
If there are any particular cases causing difficulties, I would suggest the Deputy should advise those concerned to contact the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs, who have primary responsibility for the scheme.
Dáil Éireann 495 Written Answers. Value Added Tax.