We have reduced the standard rate of value added tax to 15 per cent. from 1 December 2008 to 31 December 2009 as part of a wider fiscal stimulus. It would be premature to attempt to make an assessment now of the effect of this 13-month reduction in stabilising the economy, but we have met our objective of helping the UK's two million VAT registered businesses to make the change from 1 December, and many have been passing on the reduction to consumers through lower prices from that date.
The Government have called on businesses to pass on the VAT rate reduction through lower prices to help stimulate consumer spending and ensure both businesses and consumers can benefit from the change. Many businesses have done so, and in the UK's highly competitive retail sector, consumers can choose whether or not to buy from businesses that do not pass the reduction on. But decisions on prices are for businesses rather than Government.
(2) how much revenue was raised from value added tax on domestic insulation products in each of the last three financial years.