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Houses of Parliament: VAT

Volume 488: debated on Monday 2 March 2009

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission whether valued added tax (VAT) is charged on VAT-liable items in each of the House restaurants, vending machines, bars and canteens; and whether retail prices on VAT-liable items have been reduced since December 2008. (258381)

VAT is payable on the sale of all restaurant and bar services and so all prices charged in the restaurants, bars and cafeterias in the House of Commons include VAT at the prevailing rate (currently 15 per cent.). Selling prices are rounded to the nearest 5 pence, and all prices were reduced in December 2008 if the impact of the VAT rate change was more than or equal to 5p.

VAT is also payable on food and drinks dispensed from vending machines. Prices were reviewed following the reduction in VAT in December 2008 but were unchanged due to the policy of rounding prices to the nearest 5p.

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission whether the retail prices in the House of Commons gift shop for items which attract valued added tax were reduced following the December 2008 reduction in value added tax. (258382)

Prices in the House of Commons souvenir shops are set to the nearest 5p. The selling prices of all goods on which VAT is payable were reduced in December 2008 if the impact of the VAT rate change came to 5p or more.