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Value Added Tax

Volume 222: debated on Thursday 2 April 1992

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to which items a zero rate for value added tax has been extended since 1979; and if he will make a statement.

Under the terms of the EC Sixth VAT Directive, agreed on 17 May 1977, items which are standard rated for VAT cannot generally be moved to the zero rate. But permissible minor changes which have slightly extended the scope of the reliefs have been made in a number of areas, including reliefs for aids for the handicapped, supplies to and by charities and most recently for certain protective boots and helmets and motor-cycle crash helmets meeting EC standards. A comprehensive list of all such minor changes going back to 1979 could be made only at disproportionate cost.