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Volume 115: debated on Wednesday 29 April 1987

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many businesses have (a) registered for value added tax purposes and (b) de-registered for value added tax purposes in each of the last five years in (i) Burnley constituency and (ii) Pendle constituency.

For reasons of cost, separate statistics are not maintained for individual constituencies, but all of the Burnley constituency and nearly all of the Pendle constituency are covered by the value added tax office at Accrington. The number of VAT registrations and deregistrations dealt with by that office in each of the calendar years 1982–1986 was:

Customs and Excise estimates that in each of the last two years about 13 per cent. of these businesses were located in the Burnley constituency area and about 12 per cent. in the Pendle constituency area.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress is being made towards a review of his value-added tax penalty provisions and the justice of these provisions, in accordance with the commitment contained in "Building Businesses … not Barriers", Cmnd. 9794; and if he will make a statement.

In accordance with the commitment given in "Building Businesses … Not Barriers" the system of civil penalties, default surcharge and repayment supplement will be reviewed by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer before the 1988 Budget, after a full year's practical experience of those parts of the system which came into effect only on 1 October 1986. In the meantime, as part of the background to the review, Her Majesty's Customs and Excise is monitoring the operation of each part of the system and its impact on business, taking account of the views expressed by hon. Members and by all interested parties outside the House.