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VAT: Disabled

Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will bring forward legislative proposals to make goods and services for the exclusive personal use of disabled people eligible for VAT relief. (134425)

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 case for removing the barriers”, and will assess whether any of the recommended VAT 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.