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Medical Equipment: VAT

Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will extend the range of reduced rate reliefs for VAT on goods and services normally intended to relieve or treat disability for the exclusive personal use of people with disabilities under the sixth EC Directive. (134429)

I have been asked to reply.

There is a wide range of goods and services supplied to disabled people for their personal use on which VAT is not chargeable. This includes certain building alterations to a disabled person’s home, wheelchairs and mobility scooters, and equipment designed solely for use by a disabled person.

Under the VAT agreements with our European partners, signed by successive Governments, we can retain our existing VAT zero rates, but we may not extend them or introduce new ones. It is therefore not possible to remove VAT from additional goods and services purchased for the exclusive personal use of a disabled person

More generally, the Government are carefully considering evidence presented in the recent Low Incomes Tax Reform Group’s report ‘VAT and disabled people’ - the changes, including new reduced rates, would be consistent with our European VAT agreements and well-targeted and cost-effective when compared with the range of support already provided for people with disabilities.