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Volume 113: debated on Friday 3 April 1987

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received from The Library Association concerning the continuation of zero rating on books and other literature after the harmonisation of value added tax arrangements within the European Community; and what response he has made.

The chief executive of the Library Association wrote to my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Arts on 9 February. His letter was passed to me for reply. In my letter of 12 March I informed the association that the European Commission has not yet made detailed proposals for the approximation of VAT rates but that, when it does, the proposals will require unanimous agreement. Questions concerning the VAT treatment of books and other literature will therefore remain wholly a matter for national decision and subject to full parliamentary consideration.