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Motorcycle Equipment (Vat)

Volume 407: debated on Wednesday 18 June 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to reduce the rate of VAT levied on motorcycle (a) protective clothing, (b) replacement helmet visors, (c) safety equipment and (d) security equipment; and if he will make a statement. [119717]

Under our long-standing formal agreements with our European partners, we are permitted to keep our existing zero rates but may not extend them or introduce new ones. As such, it is not possible to remove VAT from the items mentioned. Member states are permitted to introduce reduced rates of VAT on a prescribed list of goods and services set out in Annex H of the EC Sixth VAT Directive. However, none of the items mentioned currently feature on this list, and we cannot therefore apply a reduced rate to them at this time. The Annex H list is due to be reviewed by the European Commission later this year, and we will consider any representations for new reduced rates in the context of this review.