The only figures available are those relating to fires in dwellings or to deaths from electrocution arising from electrical equipment or installations which I gave in answer to a Question from the hon. Member for Cheadle (Mr. Normanton) on 15th December 1975.
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1975, which come into force this year, will help to prevent home accidents by prohibiting the sale of unsafe electrical equipment. I shall be pleased to consider views which the electricity consultative councils may express at any time on electrical safety matters, including these Regulations.
Is the Minister aware that some of the electricity consultative councils have already expressed concern about the effect of VAT on domestic repairs because it tends to push up prices and so persuades people to carry out their own repairs? The same applies in a case to which I drew his attention recently when there was a high charge for disconnecting a piece of electrical equipment. Would he consult the electricity boards to see whether there can be some reduction in these prices? Could not that—
Mr. Alan Williams:
I have asked the nationalised industries consultative councils, ROSPA and the British Standards Institute's consumer advisory body whether they can provide any information to support my hon. Friend's suggestion. As yet, not a word of evidence has been forthcoming. I have looked at the details of the individual case that my hon. Friend sent to me and I think that in all the circumstances the board behaved quite reasonably in this instance.