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Value Added Tax

Volume 124: debated on Monday 7 December 1987

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the implications for Her Majesty's Government's policy towards widening the base of value added tax of the opinion delivered by the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice on 2 December.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East (Mr. Taylor) on 3 December 1987, at column 698.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations Her Majesty's Government have made to the European Commission with regard to their proposals to harmonise excise duties and value added tax.

The Commission formally presented its package of tax proposals to the Council of Economic and Finance Ministers on 16 November. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor made it clear then that we would not permit to come into force any proposals that in any way conflicted with pledges the Government has given concerning the United Kingdom's zero rates of VAT. The Council confirmed that the Economic Policy Committee should carry out an economic analysis of the Commission's proposals before further consideration of them by Economic and Finance Ministers.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information he has as to the current standard rate of value added tax applied in each EEC member state and, where there is no standard rate in a particular country, that rate which produces the highest tax revenue.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Hamilton (Mr. Robertson) on 3 December 1987 at column 583, which lists all the VAT rates applied in the individual member states of the EC, including the standard rates to which he refers.