To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what representations the Government has made to the European Commission regarding the impact of the imposition of value added tax on postal services; (2) what assessment the Government has made of the impact of the imposition of value added tax on postal services; (3) what steps the Government are taking regarding the imposition of value added tax on commercial postal service providers. 
The European Commission has recently published proposals to amend the provisions of the Sixth VAT Directive concerning the VAT arrangements applicable to postal services. The proposals have yet to be tabled for discussion at Council, and the Government has therefore not formally responded to the Commission on them. However, the Government is opposed to VAT on stamps, and will make this clear in negotiations on the proposals. Amendments to the Sixth VAT Directive must be agreed unanimously by Member States.